ALL of the island’s primary schools will receive life-saving defibrillators thanks to charity, Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation (CHF).
The charity has launched its 2013 fundraising campaign, with a target of £60,000 to equip all 34 Manx primary schools with defibrillators and to fund ongoing St John Ambulance training.
‘It’s a great idea from our treasurer Stephen Corran to start this year’s campaign,’ said the charity’s chairman Paul Healey.
‘We already screen the hearts of men and women aged 14 to 35 and this enables us to give parents of younger children a bit of comfort.
‘The public’s support over the last few years has enabled us to meet our goals and we hope that with their support, we will be able to get these defibrillators into primary schools as soon as we can.’
He added: ‘We recently met with all primary school head teachers, and have the full support of the department of education.’
Paul met with Minister for Education and Children, Tim Crookall MHK, on Tuesday to announce the new primary schools campaign.
‘We are extremely grateful to the charity for launching this appeal,’ said Mr Crookall.
‘Two of our primaries already have defibrillators, as they have pupils with heart conditions, but for the rest these will be welcome additions to their first aid kit.
‘It’s the sort of gift everyone, including those donating it, hope will never be used – but statistics show that using a defibrillator on a patient who has stopped breathing, greatly increases the person’s survival chances.’
CHF bought 55 defibrillators in 2012 to present to the island’s high schools, football clubs, rugby clubs and other sports facilities.
The charity was set up in memory of Craig Lunt, who passed away in 2005 suffering from an undiagnosed heart defect, and has so far screened 3,000 people on the island with some amazing results.
Craig’s mother and charity secretary, Paula, said: ‘If one machine out of 34 can save just one life over the next few years then all the fundraising will have worked.’
The charity already have several fundraising events planned, with a quiz night at The British on Valentine’s night, Ian Moffitt’s marathon challenge and the CHF dinner on June 14, with guest speaker Matt Le Tissier and impressionist Les Gibson.
Tickets for the Pokerstars’ sponsored CHF dinner in June are £50, tables of 10 are available, contact Paul on 460918 to book.
The CHF’s next heart screening weekend is on April 13/14 at the Palace Hotel in Douglas.
Anyone aged between 14 and 35 can book a free appointment at www.craigsheartstrongfoundation.co.uk
Follow the charity on twitter @CHFIOM or Facebook – Official Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation.