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IN HIS MEMORY: One Dad from Liverpool has been fighting for years for defibrillators to be accessible to everyone

Mark King tragically lost his son when he died of SADS whilst at school, and with the Oliver King Foundation he launched a defibrillator campaign for proper access and training.
It's every parents worst nightmare. Your child goes to school in the morning, and never comes home. Oliver King was 12 years old when he died after suffering Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome whilst swimming at school. His dad Mark has been fighting tirelessly ever since to make defibrillators more accessible for everyone.
Around 12 people under the age of 35 lose their lives every week to SADS, a genetic condition that often goes unnoticed. But, having a defibrillator on hand significantly increase the chances of survival.
We saw this in action during Denmark's game against Finland in the Euros when footballer Christian Erickson collapsed on the pitch, but was revived thanks to the quick thinking of those around him and the life saving equipment nearby.
The foundation has been working to install defibrillators all over the country wherever there is a fire extinguisher, and training people how to use them.
But Mark believes there still isn't enough, and this week has written to the Prime Minister urging him to get behind the campaign.

In his letter to Boris Johnson, Mr King, said: “The world was shocked by the distressing scenes of Christian Eriksen collapsing on the pitch during the Denmark v Finland match on Saturday. Fortunately, the swift action of his teammates, world-class medical staff and, critically, the availability of a defibrillator saved his life.

“Christian Eriksen, who is now stable in hospital, was lucky.

“My son was not.”

“My son was a brilliant boy who excelled in school and was phenomenal at sports,” he said.

“This hidden heart condition took him from us.

“SADS kills 12 young people every week and yet astonishingly lifesaving defibrillators are not mandatory in all schools.”

Following Oliver’s death, his family has worked to raise awareness of SADS and lobbied the Government to legislate for defibrillators to be installed in all schools.

The Oliver King Foundation has successfully fundraised to place more than 5,500 defibrillators in schools and organisations across the UK and trained over 100,000 people in CPR and the use of defibrillators – saving 56 lives to date.

The letter continued: “Currently, the Department for Education only recommends that all schools have access to lifesaving defibrillators. This simply does not go far enough and Christian Eriksen’s case unequivocally serves as a reminder of how important the availability of life-saving defibrillators are.

“However, the lives of young people will continue to be put at risk until you legislate to make defibrillators a mandatory part of school life. Without your intervention, many more young people face unnecessary death. They will not be given the same chance as Christian Eriksen.

“Oliver should have been celebrating his 22nd birthday this year and we are still fighting every day for a change in the law.

“He died needlessly, but you can stop any more children being consigned to the same fate by realising Oliver’s heart-breaking death was very avoidable – if only the right equipment was there to save him.”


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