A Houghton Regis mother has donated a defibrillator to Watling Lower School and Foret Club in memory of her late son, so staff and pupils have access to life-saving equipment.
Sarah Pyatt lost her son Jake Gallagher in 2013 after he suffered from a cardiac arrest at the age of 16, ever since she has been on a mission to ensure that schools in Bedfordshire are equipped with defibrillators.
Through her fundraising she recently donated a defibrillator to the lower school in Dunstable, and attended the school last week to help with the training.
Sarah, who is a member of the charity Sudden Adult Death Trust UK (SADS UK), said: “It’s amazing to be able to donate another defibrillator to a school, Jake would be proud.”
The defibrillator works to restore the heart rhythm if a person goes into cardiac arrest.
In this emergency, the earlier a defibrillator is used the better the chance is of survival. The Defibrillator donated to the school is easy to use by the layperson and provides voice prompts to the rescuer.
Watling Lower School headteacher Rob Cook said: “We are very grateful to Sarah for donating the new defibrillator to the school.
“We hope never to have to use it, but it is a great comfort to know that it is here and could save a life one day.”
Anne Jolly, Founder of SADS UK, the Ashley Jolly SAD Trust, said: “SADS UK is grateful to Sarah Pyatt who has supported the charity significantly.
“SADS UK is pleased that Watling Lower School and Forest Club will benefit from having a defibrillator on the premises to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest on the premises.
“SADS UK works with schools and highlights the fact that as schools are a major hub in the community they should have defibrillators in place to save lives.
“Using CPR alone provides a 5% chance of survival but early use of the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50%; this is why SADS UK and its members are so passionate about putting this lifesaving equipment in schools.”
The SADS UK Big Shock Campaign to legislate to make defibrillators available in all schools and widely in the community has the support of the ambulance services, the charity’s Patron Dr Hilary Jones, Good Morning Britain and Dame Helen Mirren who heads the charity’s defibrillator leaflet.