8:20am Saturday 19th April 2014
By Emma Rigby
MORE than 600 lifesaving defibrillators are to be installed in Wirral schools.
The roll-out of the invaluable piece of equipment began today when two defibrillators were delivered to Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School in Greasby.
The machines were installed thanks to a donation from the Wirral Schools’ Forum, who are working in partnership with Wirral Council and the Oliver King Foundation.
Staff have also been trained how to use the machine thanks to the foundation, which was set up by Mark King in memory of his 12-year-old son Oliver, who passed away from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in 2011.
Oliver was a fit and talented young sportsman who had been swimming when he fell ill.
He was taken to hospital but despite the efforts of medics, he died.
Had there been access to a defibrillator, Mr King believes his son would still be alive.
Up to £250,000 will be spent on putting the defibrillators in all schools across the borough.
Our Lady was described as a “pioneering” school for accepting the first defibrillators as part of the scheme.
Headteacher Mark Cotton said: “We are delighted to have the defibrillator because really a life saved is a gift and the Oliver King Foundation, and Oliver’s death, must not be in vain.”
Wirral West MP Esther McVey described the event as a “memorable day” and said she was honoured to be present for the unveiling.
She told the Globe: “What Mark is doing in memory of his son is incredible and outstanding and for me, it’s a real honour that here on Wirral we have listened to the campaign, we have seen what good it can do for the future and we have embraced it.”
Mr King, who presented an assembly at the school on Thursday, said he would not stop until all schools and public buildings had access to defibrillators.
He told the Globe: “We won’t stop, we can’t stop – it’s my Oliver’s legacy.
“I have no doubt that if there had been a defibrillator there at the swimming pool that day, my Oliver would still be with me today.
“We have put out 600 defibrillators since losing Oliver and we have saved the lives of three children.”
A defibrillator is used to shock someone suffering cardiac arrest but the equipment is programmed to only deliver a shock to someone that needs it
Using CPR alone provides a 5% chance of survival but using the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to more than 50%.
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