A father whose son died unexpectedly from a heart problem whilst at school, has raised enough money to provide a defibrillator to every primary school in Corby, Northampton.
The Northamptonshire Telegraph reports that ten year-old Thomas McNamee was playing in Studfall Junior school playground in October 2014, when he collapsed suddenly and died, despite staff efforts to revive him. He had a known heart condition, which caused his death.
His father Darren Lafferty, decided to channel his grief into a campaign to provide every Corby primary school with a life-saving defibrillator machine for every Corby Primary school. The campaign called Fight for Every Heartbeat, has raised over £16,000 after it garnered the support of 18 of Lafferty’s friends who completed a London to Brighton bike ride in aid of the cause. Local people added to the funds, and the joint efforts were championed by Corby vicar Reverend Paul Frost.
The group has handed over 17 cheques to primary schools in Corby, and are now focusing their attention on the town’s nursery schools. Whilst thanking the vicar, and his friend Connie Kirkwood, Lafferty said:
“It’s great to know that Corby is the first town in the UK to have defibrillators in every primary school. “Thank you to everyone who donated.
“Now I will set out to do the children’s nurseries of Corby. “All the children of Corby deserve to have these so please help us complete are journey. I will not rest until I reach my target.”
The defibrillators will also be available for members of the public to use should someone have a heart attack near to one of the schools. Emergency telephone operators will be able to direct people to the location to collect one. Last year 291 children died after cardiac arrests in school playgrounds nationally.