Halton campaign starts following sudden death

First published in News

A LIFESAVING campaign has been launched in Halton following the sudden death of a healthy 12-year-old Liverpool schoolboy.

Oliver King, aged 12, suffered a cardiac arrest at King David High School in Childwall, on March 2, last year.

Tests revealed he died from a medical condition known as sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, which kills 12 young people, aged 12-35, in the UK every week, and caused the collapse of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba.

His Widnes-born mum, Joanne, aged 46, and his dad, Mark, aged 50, have set up The Oliver King Foundation in his memory.

They are lobbying Parliament to get lifesaving equipment installed in every public building across the country.

Mark King, from Childwall, came to Bankfield School in Widnes, to ask residents for support.

He said: “Oliver was a fit, healthy, athletic boy of 12. He was into football and swimming.

“He was having trials with Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere.

“It’s unbelievable. That’s why it’s so hard to accept.

“We’re campaigning to make it law for defibrillators to be in all schools, sports centres and public buildings.

“This is about saving the lives of children.

“Italy has already done this and their death rate for young people aged 14-35 has dropped by 80 per cent.”

Primary schools across Liverpool have each pledged £1,000 to buy a defibrillator, whilst others are having dress down days to raise funds.

Halton MP Derek Twigg, a former Bankfield pupil, said: “I think this is a very worthwhile cause. It is certainly attainable.

“I will support the campaign and take it up with schools in Halton.

“Every major building has to have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher, why not a defibrillator?”

Bankfield governor Albie Williamson, aged 65, of Upton, Hough Green, said: “My family has been affected. My nine-year-old great nephew is very athletic. He collapsed in the Trafford Centre last year and has been diagnosed with this condition.

“If we can save one more family from this, it will be worthwhile.”

Campaigners hope to reach 100,000 signatures on a petition to get the issue debated in Parliament.

Petitions are available at Aspinalls stall in Widnes Market or online at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29399

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