A Pinchbeck businessman is calling on firms and parent teacher associations to buy potentially life-saving defibrillators for South Holland schools.
Tony Bolton, who runs a computer software company, has provided funding for a defibrillator for Pinchbeck East School in the hope it will “stop another parent going through the loss of a child”.
They were explaining their loss, and how having a defibrillator on location at school may have saved their daughter’s life.Dad Tony Bolton
Tony and wife Caroline suffered the heartbreak of losing their first daughter, who was stillborn nine years ago.
A defibrillator would not have helped in their case, but they were inspired to act after seeing parents talking on television about the loss of a child due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
Tony said: “The idea of donating the defibrillator came about after watching Comic Relief.
“A couple had lost a child at their school due to an unexpected heart condition.
“They were explaining their loss and how having a defibrillator on location at her school may have saved their daughter’s life.
“It struck a chord with us, having lost our first daughter, Catherine, who was stillborn at 32 weeks nine years ago.
“It wasn’t a sense that a ‘defib’ would have made any difference to our circumstances, but if it could stop another parent going through the loss of a child then it felt like the right thing to do.
“After finding out that our local school was yet to obtain one, we decided to make the donation.
“Hopefully, it never has to be used, but it’s there should it be needed – whether it’s for a child or a member of staff.
“On a personal level, I feel all schools should have one – but as with everything, it’s due to money.
“It’s a shame that funding for schools has been cut in real terms due to inflation.
“I wouldn’t like to have to make a decision on whether to buy something that could save a child’s life or essential material for their education.”
Head of school Teeny Vayro says the school is truly grateful for the donation and all staff have had the official training from LIVES, Lincolnshire’s emergency medical charity, so they know how to use the defibrillator.
Tony would like to see more businesses donate defibrillators to schools and parent teacher associations (PTAs) to consider funding them.
• Defibrillators treat sudden cardiac arrest – they are used to check the rhythmn of the heart and can send an electric shock to the heart to return it to a normal beat.