THE father of a boy who died from heart failure has presented a lifesaving piece of equipment to a Wirral school as part of a Merseyside-wide campaign.
Mark King presented the defibrillator to Woodslee Primary School in Bromborough during a special assembly this afternoon.
The machine was installed thanks to a donation from 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 Mr 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.
So far, more than 600 machines have been installed in Merseyside and the lives of three children have been saved.
Headteacher Alison Evans told the Globe: "Some weeks ago, we were encouraged by a conference that we attended, led by Mark, to raise awareness about defibrillators and the Oliver King Foundation.
"Inspired by this, we invited one of Mark's team to train 11 members of our staff. As a result of this, Mark has come to present us with this life-saving piece of equipment.
"We do lots of sporting activities at the school and we want to be able to feel that the children and adults that are on our site are safe and that when we go off site we have that facility as well."
Addressing staff and pupils during the assembly, Mr King said he would not stop until all schools and public buildings had access to defibrillators.
Mr King added: "My aim is to stop other families going through what we went through. Nineteen young people a week are dying, because there is no defibrillator available.
"The machine will analyse your heart and evaluate its rhythm. That's how easy it is to save a life.
"I personally won't stop until the government makes the provision of defibrillators legislation, placing them with fire extinguishers in every building.
"More than 1,000 referees are going to be trained in the use of them too, so when you take up sport you'll be safe.
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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