A grieving dad whose son died suddenly in a Corby school playground has raised enough money to provide every primary school in the town with life-saving defibrillators.
Thomas McNamee, 10, died at Studfall Juniors on October 23 2014. He had a known heart condition which unexpectedly caused his sudden collapse. Despite efforts by staff to revive him, he died.
His father Darren Lafferty decided to tackle his grief by pouring all his efforts into raising thousands of pounds and launched the Fight For Every Heartbeat campaign to provide a defibrillator for every school in Corby. He managed to hand over cheques to 17 primary schools two days ahead of the second anniversary of Thomas’s death.
His efforts were aided by Corby vicar Rev Paul Frost and 18 friends who completed a London to Brighton bike ride earlier this year.
The group raised £16,000 and that has been added to by dozens of kind-hearted locals to provide the life-saving equipment for every school in Corby.
The fundraisers have now handed over 17 cheques and hope to continue their efforts to provide defibrillators in all the town’s nurseries.
Thanking his friends Rev Frost and Connie Kirkwood, Darren 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 every one 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.
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