Schools get lifesaving machines

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©LFC.SU Oliver’s father Mark (middle) at Pinehurst Primary School

Lifesaving defibrillators are being handed out to every primary school in Liverpool after a £100,000 project finally got underway.

It comes after the death of 12-year-old Oliver King, who died during a swimming lesson in March 2011 of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Oliver’s family believe that had a defibrillator been on hand he would have survived.  Oliver attended King David High School in Childwall.

It is estimated that 270 children die while at school each year due to cardiac arrest.

The first defibrillators were given to Pinehurst Primary in Anfield.  In total 122 schools will have a defibrillator installed.

The occasion was attended by Oliver’s parents together with local celebrities and representatives from both Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs.

They all joined hands to create a human chain of 122 to depict the number of schools involved.

Oliver’s dad Mark told JMU Journalism: “I am doing this for Oliver and everyone elses child.

“It’s great to see that the work we are doing is being taken seriously and that the distribution of these machines is finally under way.”

The campaign to install the devices in every school was sparked by The Oliver King Foundation, set up in Oliver’s memory.

The foundation is now campaigning to have defibrillators installed in every public building by 2017.

Mr King added: “The government want 100,000 signatures before they will begin to consider the plans for the defibrillators.

“In that time children of all ages will die because of SADS.

“You walk into a building and there are fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc.  These defibrillators save lives and are just as important.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has already backed the campaign along with celebrities such as comedian Stephen Fry and actress Dame Helen Mirren.

About Andrew McKenna, JMU Journalism