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Defibrillators to be installed in youngster's memory

Oliver's heart stopped during a swimming lesson Photo:

Potentially life-saving defibrillators will be installed in every primary school in Liverpool, according to the city council.

They are being handed out in memory of a 12-year-old city school boy whose heart suddenly stopped during a swimming lesson.

Oliver King, who was a pupil at King David High School in Childwall, died in March 2011 from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Since then his family have started the Oliver King Foundation, which is campaigning to put more defibrillators in public places.

Oliver’s father Mark said: “I am delighted that primary schools in the city are having defibrillators fitted.

“This is fantastic news and I firmly believe that it will help save lives.

“We must do all we can to raise awareness of SADS and prevent as many deaths as we can. There are no warning signs and it could happen to anyone’s child.

“We need to have defibrillators in all public buildings to make sure that Oliver’s death was not in vain.”

Mr King believes if a defibrillator had been available his son’s heart could have been re-started. It is estimated that 270 children die of a sudden cardiac arrest while at school in the UK every year.

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School staff will be trained on how to use the defibrillators Credit: ITV Granada

The Foundation wants the Government to install defibrillators in all public buildings by 2017. It is also lobbying for ECG scans for all 14-to-30 year old to be screened for SADS.

Their campaign has the backing of Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson, comedian Stephen Fry, actress Dame Helen Mirren.

The move will cost £100,000 and see devices fitted in all 122 primary schools in the city. Teachers and staff at the schools will be trained how to use them.

Mayor Anderson said today: “This is a fantastic achievement for The Oliver King Foundation, which was only set up eight months ago.

“Our schools are at the heart of our communities, and this equipment will be of benefit to us all.

“If this scheme saves one child's life, it will have been worth all the effort."

For more information about the Oliver King Foundation, visit www.theoliverkingfoundation.co.uk.**