A HAMPSHIRE school has thrown its weight behind a Daily Echo campaign and invested in life-saving medical equipment after a schoolboy nearly died.
The Parent Staff Association at The Westgate School, Winchester, has bought a defibrillator using the proceeds from a recent quiz night.
It comes just weeks after 16-year-old Sam Mangoro, from Romsey, suffered a heart attack during a PE lesson at Mountbatten School and was saved by teachers using a defibrillator.
The Daily Echo launched the Save a Life in Schools campaign, urging schools to purchase defibrillators, which cost about £800, and The Westgate is one of the first to respond.
Head teacher Paul Nicholson said: “I am delighted that we have been able to learn from the recent experience at Mountbatten and ensure that all those who visit us and use our facilities have confidence in our having trained colleagues and appropriate equipment, should the need arise.”
Recovering Sam is recovering well in hospital and is still undergoing tests to determine his ongoing treatment, which could include being fitted with a pacemaker or undergoing an operation.
Meanwhile Holiday Inn Winchester has also backed our campaign and has become the first hotel in the city to have a defibrillator, according to sales manager Sarah Waddington.
She said: “In addition to our first aid training we wanted to ensure that our staff were fully trained and had the right equipment to help to save lives, should one of our 80 staff or up to 430 hotel visitors have a cardiac arrest.
“We are the only hotel in Winchester to have an AED and while we do not want to be in the situation to have to use this equipment, it is great to have it on site in the case of an emergency and to know that we have fully trained staff who could help a colleague, or a hotel guest in those crucial first few minutes before an ambulance arrives.”