Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Campaign for defibrillators in Northumberland schools

Awareness of the condition Sudden Cardiac Arrest has been increasing ever since Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch at White Heart Lane during Bolton's FA Cup match with Tottenham on 17 March 2012.

Despite being a professional footballer and only 23 years old at the time, his heart stopped for 78 minutes. Players and supporters looked on in disbelief as medics tried to resuscitate him. Luckily for Muamba, defibrillators are kept at most major football venues in the country and it was this device that saved his life.

Muamba has now retired from football and is fronting the campaign - Hearts & Goals - to encourage more public places to keep the equipment. It's this type of project, along with local help, that means Fordley Community Primary School in Cramlington also has one.

Ten years ago tragedy struck for Christine Stephenson and her family. Her brother, Neil Best, died aged 32 from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Christine has been helping to fundraise for a scheme to place defibrillators in Fordley and seven other schools in the area.

Speaking from the launch of the project at Fordley Community Primary School, Christine said:

I was a pupil here, my brother was a pupil here, as were most of my family members. That's why we chose this school.

"He [Neil] was getting ready for a night out and that was it, he collapsed on the bathroom floor. No signs, no symptoms.

"CPR alone, your chances of survival are around 9%. If you add a defibrillator into the equation your chances are increased to 50%."

– Christine Stephenson
Neil Best died aged 32 after suffering Sudden Cardiac Arrest Credit: Best family