Thursday 20th June 2013 – 9.30am – Claire Brown.
A Birmingham school, where a young boy suffered a cardiac arrest on his way home last year, has been given the gift of life.
Greenholm Primary School in Great Barr is now home to an automated external defibrillator thanks to West Midlands Ambulance Service. On Friday, eleven teaching assistants went back to the classroom to learn basic life support and the use of a defibrillator; a device used to restart someone’s heart when they’re suffering a cardiac arrest.
The new piece of kit comes after seven year old pupil, Callum Bryan, suffered a cardiac arrest as he was leaving school during a thunderstorm last May. Fortunately, thanks to the quick thinking of his mother Jayne, his sister Nicole, ambulance crews and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Callum returned to school in November after undergoing heart surgery.
Clare Russell-Mayne, Teaching Assistant, remembers comforting Callum before home time that day as he was frightened of the thunderstorm. Clare received training last week alongside colleagues and said: “In a previous job, I worked at another school where a child sadly died and always think back to whether the outcome would’ve been different if there had been a defibrillator.
“It’s nice to know that the defibrillator is here if we ever need it. We’ve all done 1st aid training but the training we’ve had from West Midlands Ambulance Service takes our skills a little further. The defibrillator is much easier to use than I thought it would be. It tells you what to do, it’s that easy!”
Darren Tranter, the Trust’s Community Defibrillator Facilitator, ran the training session last week and said: “It’s particularly rewarding to visit and instruct a school. It was a pleasure to meet the staff at Greenholm and I am confident they’re now better equipped to deal with a life threatening emergency.”
Jayne Bryan, Callum’s mother, said: “We would like to thank West Midlands Ambulance Service for this amazing gift. We hope it will never be needed because to see any child suffer like Callum did would be devastating. It gives great peace of mind to our family to know the equipment and training is there.”
Gill Turner, the School’s Head Teacher, said: “I am delighted that our staff have had the training with the defibrillator. It means that we can offer even better care to our children and we are delighted to have been given this equipment from the ambulance service.”
Notes to Editor:
Photograph 1 (group): Andy Jeynes (WMAS Community Response Manager) with Teaching Assistants Gail Jackson, Judith Dean, Lynda Mayo, Sylvia Donnelly, Johanna Mack, Janet Lloyd, Sean Broadhurst, Linda Brandon, Nusrat Yaseen, Yvonne Cooksey and Clare Russell-Mayne.
Photograph 2 and 3: Teaching assistants practicing CPR.
Photograph 4: Callum Bryan