Defibrillator installed at St Oswald’s Primary School after teaching assistant was ‘shocked’ to learn of cardiac arrest statistics
Nicola O’Doherty, 37, has been campaigning to have a defibrillator installed at the school, on St Oswalds Road in Hebburn, after she learnt the survival rate statistics after a cardiac arrest if there isn’t a defibrillator available during her first aid training.
Following the first aid course, she discovered that there wasn’t a potentially life-saving device within five minutes of the school so she set about looking to fundraise some money to have it installed.
Nicola has told the Gazette how it feels to have the defibrillator installed after more than a year’s worth of work to get to this stage.
She said: "Off the back of first aid training, I was shocked to learn the statistics for survival rates after a cardiac arrest if there wasn’t a defibrillator available.
"People need to be able to get to it within five minutes, which we didn't have at the school so I set about trying to look for some fundraising to be able to get one for both the school and local community.
"I’m over the moon that it is installed, it has taken over a year but I’m really happy that it is there to be able to benefit us and the community area near the school as well.”
Nicola’s father-in-law, Paul O’Doherty, 64, is the communications officer for Durham Freemasons and a member of Hebburn Lodge so he helped to provide the funding to the school for the defibrillator.
He added: “When Nicola explained the situation and mentioned that the school had a shortfall in funding to provide the defibrillator, it set us away to see how we could help.
"We made an application for funding and it came through in full for the defibrillator; however, because of delays due to Covid and price rises to everything, it meant there was a shortfall of £200 so Hebburn Lodge provided the rest.
"With help from Cllr John McCabe, we were able to push it along and finally get it installed last Saturday (March 18).”