Heart attack boy highlights need for life-saving kit in Denbighshire schools


Rebecca Cole

THE news that a young boy suffered a heart attack while playing has highlighted the need for defibrillators in schools.

The national press reported last week that 11-year-old Koby Hodder collapsed while playing in the playground of his Doncaster school.

Luckily he survived but a defibrillator could have saved his parents many agonising hours.

Parents, children and staff at two Denbighshire schools will no doubt be glad to know they are taking the matter in hand by installing life-saving defibrillators, which shock the heart back into action.

Ysgol Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh now has the kit in place thanks to fundraising efforts by the whole community after parent, Elen Wyn Jones, who has two children at the school, suggested the idea.

According to deputy head Dafydd Davies, she was inspired by a conversation she had with a paramedic while walking up Snowdon.

Staff have now been trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service and, according to Mr Davies, they are feeling much more confident as a result.

“We’ve had an assembly to explain it to the children and we’re going to show the machine and how it works to them,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic thing to have in school but hopefully we won’t have to use it.”

He explained that because the kit is mobile, trained staff could also use it to help anyone in the community nearby if an emergency arose.

An automatic external defibrillator (AED) works by analysing the patient’s heart and will not shock unless it is needed, thereby removing any risk of human error.

Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph have just launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to buy the kit and have been spurred on by the news of Koby’s ordeal.

Headteacher Tim Redgrave said: “God forbid we should ever have to use it but should the occasion ever arise we will have the equipment to increase the chances of survival.

“The numbers of cases like this might not be high but even if we just save one life that’s enough.

“I don’t ever want to look a parent in the eye and say I could’ve done better.”

St Asaph Rotary Club kindly kick-started the fundraising with a donation of £200 which has been added to £100 from AED Donate, an organisation which helps businesses and schools like Esgob Morgan collect enough cash to buy the kit.

To help the school reach its £1,800 target visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/AED-St-Asaph

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