THE search for life-saving equipment that disappeared from a Wirral church had a happy ending after a replacement was donated.

The iconic Shrine Church of Ss Peter, Paul and St Philemona in New Brighton – also known as The Dome of Home - was fitted with a public access defibrillator (PAD) in May 2016.

It went missing in December but, despite widespread publicity, was never returned.

Its disappearance attracted the attention of the Oliver King Foundation, set up to help people suffering cardiac arrests, which provided a replacement.

Canon Amaury Montjean, rector from the Shrine Church was presented with the replacement defibrillator by the Foundation's director Mark King the said: “We are most grateful to the Oliver King Foundation for making this donation to our local community.”

The portable device can be used by a member of the public to help restart the heart when someone has a cardiac arrest.

This is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body and they lose conscious almost at once.

The foundation 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.

The Oliver King Foundation has now provided more than 4,000 defibrillators to organisations, schools and businesses across the country, with 60,000 people trained to use them. Their use has helped save 36 lives.

On replacing the Dome of Home's machine, Mr King said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the team at Ss Peter & Paul’s to supply this piece of lifesaving equipment to the community of New Brighton in Oliver’s name.”

At the time the original defibrillator was installed Judy O'Sullivan, the British Heart Foundation's assistant programme director said at the time the defibrillator was fitted: "More than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year but less than one in ten survive.

"More people could be saved if more defibrillators were available in public places and if more people felt confident using them and performing CPR.

"We are delighted that The Dome of Home have joined the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign - by making another defibrillator available in New Brighton and teaching CPR locally.

"It could really be the difference between life and death."