Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Heart charity gives defibrillators to all Manx schools

Paula Lunt presents the FA with their defibrillators
Image caption Last year the charity supplied 55 defibrillators to high schools and sports clubs

A heart charity has raised £60,000 to equip all primary schools on the Isle of Man with defibrillators.

The 34 primary schools will receive the potentially life saving equipment as will several volunteer-led groups.

Craig's Heartstrong Foundation was founded by Paula Lunt after her son Craig died from an undiagnosed heart defect in April 2005.

Mrs Lunt said: "If a defibrillator saves one life it is money well spent."

A defibrillator is used by paramedics to stabilise an irregular heartbeat by discharging an electric current.

According the Department of Education just two primary schools currently have defibrillators due to their "specific need".

'Every second counts'

Education minister Tim Crookall said he was "delighted and extremely grateful".

He said: "It is reassuring to know that should a child or adult need the assistance it will be there immediately as every second counts."

The first school to receive the equipment was Dhoon Primary School in Maughold, whose pupils raised more than £1,000 for the project.

Last year, the charity supplied 55 defibrillators to high schools and sports clubs across the island.

Mrs Lunt said: "I would rather have Craig back but without him I just want to help other people. I don't want another parent to go through what I have.

"I can't thank the Manx public enough for their support with the campaign. The things people have done to help us have been just incredible."

She added: "We hope the machines can provide comfort to parents and teachers. We also hope the machines never need to be used."

Since 2006, the foundation has helped to screen more than 5,000 people in the Isle of Man.

The charity organises doctors to visit the island every six months to help detect any possible symptoms of hypertonic and dilated cardiomyopathy in people aged between 14 and 35.

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