A Wisbech school will soon have a life-saving piece of equipment to enable a pupil to return to lessons in safety thanks to a local charity group.
Orchards Primary School issued an urgent appeal for help to buy a difibrillator after Lyn Johnson, part of the well-being team, administered the kiss of life to the Key Stage I pupil after he stopped breathing during an epileptic fit.
The incident, which happened just before half-term, saw the boy rushed to intensive care in hospital and he has since suffered two more episodes resulting in him not breathing and having to go into hospital.
Lyn said: “It was extremely scary, I had to give him mouth to mouth as he stopped breathing before the emergency services arrived. Luckily he was OK and was taken to hospital but the emergency services want us to have a defibrillator on site in case it happens again.
“He is a lovely little boy and giving him mouth to mouth was the scariest thing I have ever had to do. It was the first time I have had to do it in 17 years of working at a school. My brother has epilepsy and my husband has just been diagnosed but I have never known someone to stop breathing during a fit.
“We just need to get this defibrillator so he can enjoy his lessons in safety knowing we are prepared if the worst does happen again.”
Within hours of the Citizen publishing the appeal on the newspaper’s website on Friday Wisbech Round Table had been in touch to offer £820 towards the cost of the £1,000 machine.
The other £180 was raised by the school with a disco last week and the school was planning further fundraising events.
Lyn added: “When someone stops breathing the next step is for the heart to stop beating, so we need the defib in case that should happen. He is not at school at the moment because he has just come out of hospital. We would like to get the equipment in place as quickly as possible so it is there when he is ready to return to school or as soon afterwards as possible. The Round Table’s generous offer means we can order it straight away instead of having to fundraise.
“We have over 500 pupils and 80 staff at the school plus all the parents who come and go at the start and end of school so having a defibrillator will be a useful piece of equipment for us to have any way.”