A mum who lost her brother-in-law to sudden cardiac death has launched an appeal to get a defribrillator installed at her son’s primary school.
Allison Read, of Ingol, Preston, who is married to Paul, says the whole family were devastated when brother-in-law James Read suddenly collapsed and died at the age of 33 in January 2010.
James, who lived in Ashton, Preston, was fit and healthy and his death was put down to an undetected heart condition.
Screening can detect cardiac abnormalities, but children under 14 cannot be screened with accuracy as their hearts are still developing.
Allison, 42, who has an eight-year-old son Tyler, says she has been plagued with nightmares since James’ death and she fears something similar happening to Tyler.
She said: “Our family was totally devastated by James’ sudden death and Tyler absolutely worshipped him.
“Our lives are never going to be the same and it breaks my heart to hear of other families sufferering in the same way.”
Having a defibrillator, which shocks the heart into restarting and someone trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) massively increases the chances of survival when someone suddenly collapses.
Allison is working with Tyler’s school Harris Primary in Fulwood to fundraise for the machine and is urging other schools to do the same.
Allison said: “The school has been wonderful and so supportive of the campaign.
“The defibrillators cost £1,400 plus VAT to install and this covers training for eight adults and 30 children.”
Fellow mum Dawn Caunce, of Wesham, near Preston, whose six-year-old son Archie was born with a heart condition where his heart is back to front, is also supporting the quest.
She said: “If anything happened to Archie at school, having a defibrillator would be life-saving.”
• To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/James2010 or text HARR49 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070.