Life-saving defibrillator donated to Vale Academy thanks to Houghton Regis mum

Sarah (middle) with the memorial plaque each school receives with their defibrillator. Jake's siblings (L-R): Leo, Charlie, and Ella.
Sarah (middle) with the memorial plaque each school receives with their defibrillator. Jake's siblings (L-R): Leo, Charlie, and Ella.

A caring Houghton Regis mother is donating a defibrillator to a Dunstable school in memory of her late son, so staff and pupils have access to life-saving equipment.

Sarah Pyatt, 50, lost her son Jake Gallagher in 2012 after he suffered from a cardiac arrest at just 16, and the determined mum has since made it her mission to ensure that schools in Bedfordshire are equipped with defibrillators.

Jake and Sarah

Jake and Sarah

Through her dedicated fundraising and support from several organisations, Sarah, a member of the charity Sudden Adult Death Trust UK (SADS UK), has already put seven defibrillators in place and The Vale Academy will be the eighth to benefit.

Anne Jolly, Founder of SADS UK, the Ashley Jolly SAD Trust, said: “We are grateful to Sarah Pyatt and The Advance Catering Group, who have supported the charity significantly.

“SADS UK is pleased that The Vale Academy will benefit from having a defibrillator to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest on the premises.

“We work with schools and highlight the fact that they should have defibrillators in place to save lives.

“Using CPR alone provides a 5 per cent chance of survival but early use of the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50 per cent.”

Funds for the defibrillator were raised through the annual Jake’s Bash, the Midlands Tough Mudder, a Colour Obstacle Run and an office fundraising event.

SADS UK are running the ‘Big Shock Campaign’ to make defibrillators available in all schools and widely in the community.

Copies of ‘The Warning Signs’ leaflets have been provided to the school to assist people who may have an underlying cardiac condition to be identified and treated and defibrillator training will be carried out at the Academy on December 5.

For information about providing your community with a defibrillator, call SADS UK on 01277 811215, or email info@sadsuk.org.

> www.sadsuk.org.