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Heartfelt fund-raising campaign helps pupils
8:00am Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
THE parents of a Kidderminster pupil suffering from a genetic heart abnormality set up a successful fund-raising campaign to get a defibrillator at his school.
The Knoll School now has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) package after £1,011 was raised for the equipment in just seven weeks.
The fund-raising drive was set up by parents Lorraine and Lloyd Wallace, whose son William, 5, was diagnosed with the genetic heart abnormality soon after birth.
It is an issue close to their hearts and as well as out of concern for William their determination was driven by a need to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and protect the hearts of the other 99 pupils at the school.
“It’s achievement in a short time,” said Mrs Wallace. “It’s a comforting thought that there’s this piece of equipment at hand.
It gives them a far better chance of surviving.
“It puts my mind at ease but the defibrillator is more for a child who doesn’t know they have got a heart problem and can have a sudden cardiac arrest.”
After reading about former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed following a cardiac arrest earlier this year while playing during a match, Mr and Mrs Wallace researched SCA and defibrillators.
They received a £250 grant from charity Hand on Heart, which provides funding for defibrillator packages, while the rest of the cash was raised through non-uniform days, donations and an annual summer fair.
William also raised £230 and HSBC gave a donation of £500.
They were more than £200 short of the cash needed for the equipment but the charity was so impressed with their enthusiasm they still gave them the package, which includes basic life support training for 30 children and eight adults.
The package also includes a lesson plan that can be incorporated into the school’s curriculum to continue raising awareness of the dangers of cardiac arrest.
Nigel Humphreys, headteacher, said: “I’m delighted that it took seven weeks to raise the money.
“We hope we never have to use it but at least it’s there for our children, staff and parents.