One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Life-saving device for Liverpool schools
In what's thought to be the first project of its kind, every primary school in Liverpool is to have a defibrillator as part of a campaign in memory of a schoolboy who died of a heart condition.
The £100,000 project will see the life saving devices fitted in 122 schools during the next academic year, with staff being trained how to use them too.
It's after the death of Oliver King, 12, who died during a swimming lesson at the King David High School in Childwall in 2011. His death was caused by Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).
It is the same medical condition that struck former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba last season and has forced his retirement from the game. It is estimated that 270 children die of a sudden cardiac arrest while at school in the UK every year.
Oliver’s family believe that if a defibrillator had been available, the 12 year old’s heart could have been restarted.
The Oliver King Foundation, launched in his memory, aims to get the Government to install defibrillators in all public buildings by 2017. It is also calling for ECG scans to be given to all 14 – 35 year olds so that they can be screened for the potentially fatal condition.
The campaign has already won the backing of Mayor Joe Anderson, comedian Stephen Fry, actress Dame Helen Mirren, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
Oliver’s dad Mark said: “I am delighted that primary schools in the city are having defibrillators fitted.
"This is fantastic news and I firmly believe that it will help save lives.
"We must do all we can to raise awareness of SADS and prevent as many deaths as we can. There are no warning signs and it could happen to anyone’s child.
"We need to have defibrillators in all public buildings to make sure that Oliver’s death was not in vain."
Mayor Anderson said: " I am really pleased that our primary schools are leading the way by installing defibrillators.
"The Oliver King Foundation is doing great work highlighting awareness of this issue, and I am 100 percent behind them."
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