Lancaster MP Cat Smith joins campaign to save lives

editorial image
Have your say

Every single year in the UK, 30,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest and sadly, just less than one in 10 survive.

As part of European Restart a Heart Day, Lancaster MP Cat Smith visited the Oliver King Foundation at their launch event in Westminster to show support.

The Oliver King Foundation setup following the tragic death of 12-year-old Oliver King from a sudden cardiac arrest, which kills 12 young people every single week. Oliver was winning a swimming race at school.

Early access to a defibrillator is vital. For every minute that passes, chances of survival drop by 10 per cent.

In 2012 former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba was shocked 16 times by a lifesaving defibrillator in front of millions watching in the ground and on TV.

Despite being effectively “dead” for 78 minutes, Muamba fully recovered from his ordeal.

Signing up to become a Defibrillator Champion for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Ms Smith said: “I am proud to become a lifesaving Defibrillator Champion for Lancaster and Fleetwood. It is vital that we take action to prevent any loss of life where one can be saved.

“I will be working with local schools in my constituency to fundraise and get lifesaving defibrillators in our area, protecting our students, teachers and visitors whilst at school.

“It was interesting to hear from the Foundation about how many lives have been saved, including a caretaker at a school who had only received the defibrillator two weeks earlier.

“I will be delighted to work as a Defibrillator Champion; saving lives is a legacy that we can all be proud of.”

Jake Morrison, chief executive of the Oliver King Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Cat Smith has signed up as a Defibrillator Champion.

“It is important that we spread awareness of the vital need for this equipment in our communities.

“Our Members of Parliament have a great platform and connection in their constituencies to spread this message. We look forward to working with Cat Smith and saving lives for years to come.”

Mark King, father of 12-year-old Oliver, who died from a sudden cardiac arrest, said: “Five years ago when my son Oliver passed away from this hidden heart condition, we didn’t know that his legacy would reach this far.

“We are determined to save as many young lives as possible, so that no other family has to suffer a similar loss to that of ours.”