A GOUROCK family who suffered a tragic loss have launched a fundraiser to help maintain a life-saving device they installed in the town centre.

Steven Cameron and daughter Colette undertook a fundraising mission to install a defibrillator in the centre of the town after tragically losing much-loved son and brother Kieran.

Kieran - a talented chemical engineering student - passed away in 2018 aged just 22 after collapsing with a suspected asthma attack.

The family rallied around to raise funds after the tragedy and campaigned to get the device, which if used can increase survival odds from around six per cent to 74, as a way to honour his memory and help other families.

Since installing the lifeline on the side of the pierhead gardens tourist information kiosk across from Gourock railway Station it has been used numerous times, with 49-year-old Steven covering the £170 cost each time to replace the kit.

In a bid to raise more awareness of the defibrillator and gain community support, Colette set up an online appeal to gather £200 towards the upkeep costs.

Within the first 24 hours, the marketing worker had raised over £1,000 towards the running of the life-saving machine.

Colette, 27, who also works locally with Man On Inverclyde and Mind Mosaic, told the Tele: "My dad has been funding the defibrillator for the past three years, so many people do not realise they are usually privately paid for.

"He didn't ask me to set this up, but he puts so much time and effort into it and it is not a cheap thing, so I thought maybe the community would like to get involved.

"I initially set out to raise a few hundred pounds, but the support has been overwhelming and it just keeps climbing."

Colette says the backing from the public has been overwhelming and the family is pleased it is increasing awareness of the life-saving machine.

She added: "I think people realise how important it is, but sometimes there is still a real fear around using it.

"There is a lot of pressure, but the defib talks you through every step and won't work if it detects a pulse, so it is impossible to hurt someone with it.

"There is always the thought of what would've happened if there was one close-by to Kieran when he became ill, so it hopefully will mean other families get the chance of saving a loved one if it is needed.

"We've had lots of people get in touch sharing their own stories and how they feel reassured having one in Gourock."

Every time the unit has been used the family has covered the costs of replacing the pads for both adults and children and other items required, such as scissors, a razor, wipes and gloves.

Steven, who has been funding the device since its installation, says he does it as you 'cannot put a price on someone's life'.

The dad added: "I used to work in Aberdeen and when I drove through small towns it was amazing how many defibrillators there were.

"Down in Inverclyde they are so few and far between, we should have way more than we do.

"That's why I have been so keen to ensure the upkeep of the Gourock one."

Both Steven and Colette are also keen to provide an education on using the machine.

He said: "I think everyone should be taught the basics of how to use it, if there was a clearer understanding of how it works, hopefully it could help save more lives."

To donate to the ongoing fundraiser, visit gofundme.com/f/gourock-front-defib-funds.

Find out more about defibrillators in the area at defibfinder.uk.

For an easy step-by-step guide on how to use one, visit bit.ly/3BapcwX