Dad-of-four, 53, collapses and dies on his way to meet wife in shopping centre

Dad-of-four, 53, collapses and dies on his way to meet wife in shopping centre

A dad-of-four died suddenly after suffering a cardiac arrest while out at a shopping centre.

Gary Mackinder, 53, had been on his way to meet his wife Julie during her lunch break when he collapsed.

Staff and other shoppers tried desperately to revive him but couldn’t and Gary was rushed to hospital but was confirmed dead three days having never recovered brain function.

The incident happened at the shopping centre in Bransholme, Hull, last week.

Gary, from Bransholme, has been due to attend a GP appointment after feeling unwell for several weeks.

He had suffered a bout of pneumonia at Easter and had struggled with his breathing since then.

But the forklift driver suddenly collapsed on June 14 while on his wife to meet his wife.

Security staff, shop workers and passers-by rushed to help Gary, but he passed away on June 17, after doctors said he had no brain function.

Sister Joanne Braimbridge said a security guard ran to a nearby health centre to borrow their defibrillator but there was a “ten to 15 minute” delay in getting it.

Cardiac arrest patients need urgent treatment within four minutes.

The family are now raising money for a defibrillator for the Hull shopping centre, saying they will always wonder “what if” Gary had received treatment sooner.

“His wife looked at him and his face was twitching. She asked if he was okay, and then he just fell to the floor,” said Joanne.

“She had to do CPR. His wife is a carer and is trained in CPR, but you never think you are going to have to do it on one of your loved ones.”

Gary was taken to intensive care at Hull Royal Infirmary, where he suffered further cardiac arrests and his life support was switched off last Thursday.

As his distraught family come to terms with his loss, his younger sister Joanne, 52, said they want to raise money for more defibrillators for public spaces in Gary’s memory, starting with one at North Point shopping centre.

“it’s not a legal requirement to have a defibrillator in a public place,” she said. “Bransholme centre didn’t have one. The security guard had to run to the health centre and borrow theirs, which meant vital minutes were lost.

“You never go anywhere and think ‘will I need a defibrillator?’. I’m sure Gary didn’t think that when he went there last Monday.

“You don’t always get a positive outcome from a cardiac arrest that occurs outside of hospital – the odds are against you. But I would like to see them at every shopping centre and sports ground.

“It’s the ‘if only’ that’s really hard when somebody passes away. We will never know if it would have made a difference.

“He had a wait of ten to 15 minutes for the defibrillator. They managed to get his heart going again, but it was not quick enough for his brain function.

“You only have to look at footballer Christian Eriksen, who got treatment immediately, to see what a difference it can make. He was sitting up in bed the next day.

“The consultant told us he had technically died there at the shopping centre on Monday.”

Joanne said they did not blame North Point shopping centre, who have since confirmed that they were already in the process of buying a £1,000 device which is due to be installed “within weeks”.

The family would like to buy a second one for the centre from the proceeds of donations at Gary’s funeral, which will take place on July 1.

Gary, who was a much-loved dad to Louis, 22, Millie, 18, Evie, 12, and nine-year-old Oliver from his first marriage, was today described by his sister as “a lovely, popular lad”.

“In most of his photos, he was holding a pint, and he was really sociable, you always heard him before you saw him,” Joanne added.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped Gary. We can’t thank you enough.

“There were a crowd of people who stood with their backs to Gary as they worked on him, to give them privacy, and also we’d like to say thank you to the people who helped Julie with CPR, we know many were traumatised by what they saw.”

Louise Smith, Centre Manager at North Point Shopping Centre said: “We were extremely saddened to hear of Gary’s passing and send our deepest condolences to his family at this very upsetting time.

“I can confirm we already had plans in place to purchase a defibrillator as part of our efforts to improve our safety and security measures on site and we expect installation to take place in the coming weeks.”