Campaigners push for e-petition signatures

Oliver King died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome
Oliver King died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome Photo: ITV

Members of the Oliver King Foundation will walk through the city of Liverpool for 12 hours today to collect signatures from residents and businesses as they try and reach 100,000 signatures before their e-petition to get defibrillators into schools and public buildings expires.

The Foundation was set up in memory of schoolboy Oliver King, who died when his heart failed after a swimming lesson.

He had been suffering from undiagnosed sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS), a heart condition that kills 2 people every week.

Oliver's father Mark set up the Oliver King Foundation in his name, to raise awareness of SADS and to petition the Government to provide screening for the condition and defibrillators in schools.

12 members of The Oliver King Foundation including Mark King and Campaign Patron, Wavertree Cllr Jake Morrison, will walk from Fazakerley through to Woolton from 9am-9pm. Campaigners will collect signatures from residents and businesses right across the city along the way.

The e-petition was set up by Cllr Jake Morrison following the tragic death of the 12-year-old. The e-petition expires in the beginning of February and campaigners still need over 50,000 signatures before they can trigger a House of Commons debate.

There are fears that although many people are aware of the Foundation, they have not yet signed up. So campaigners want to take the petition to their door-step.

Cllr Jake Morrison said:

"It is clear to us that there are many people supporting the campaign, but we need them to sign the petition. So I suggested to Mark that we walk the streets of Liverpool, and why not make an event of it. Let's take the petition to the people. We will walk through the hearts of all our communities and ask them to sign up to our campaign."

"We will be walking through Walton, Wavertree & Woolton, and every other area in the City, asking people to sign this lifesaving e-petition."

"We don't have much time left, 4 weeks to reach the target otherwise the petition will just fall. That will be a slap in the face for all the hard work that has gone in to this campaign."

Mark King, Founder of The Oliver King Foundation said:

"We have 4 weeks left, we have to do everything we can to get these signatures. 12 young people die of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome every single week. We need the Government to stop this, and the only way we can go about that at the moment is through our petition. "

"In Liverpool we are already working, all 122 Primary Schools will have Defibrillators by the end of January. But we can't just rest here, what about the rest of the country."

It is estimated that 270 children die of a sudden cardiac arrest while at school in the UK every year, In October The Oliver King Foundation handed over the 1st Defibrillator to Pinehurst Primary School, as part of a scheme which will see all 122 Liverpool Primary School's receive this lifesaving equipment as part of a £102,640 project.

For more information about the Oliver King Foundation, click here