Longridge High School and sports centre are to get life-saving pieces of equipment thanks to a keen netballer.
Fourteen-year-old Katie Morley, who is in year 10 at the high school, decided to raise funds for a defibrillator after she lost conscienciousness during a netball match.
Fortunately in Katie’s case a defibrillator was not required, but, had it been, there would not have been one available anyway.
Katie, who plays netball for her school and Longridge Netball Club, gave much thought to this following the moment she collapsed during a break playing for the Longridge club.
She says she already knew about the importance of a defibrillator – a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in cases of cardiac arrest.
There are around 800 people in school, including pupils and staff, and up to 1,000 people using the adjoining sports centre each week – but not a defibrillator in sight.
“If I had been worse I would have needed a defibrillator, and I don’t want anyone else to be in that position, so I decided to fund-raise for one,” said Katie, who recently achieved runner-up in the young volunteer category at the Ribble Valley Sports Awards.
Katie said she then went to see Alexandra Cooper at Longridge estate agents Dewhurst Homes who helped and guided her with her fund-raising efforts.
Now, thanks to donations from five local businesses: Dewhurst Homes, Vincents Solicitors, Premier Kitchens, CPC and Lloyds Media Group, and also Longridge Netball Club, which Katie’s mum Deborah helps to run, Katie has raised £1,500 – enough to buy two defibrillators – one for school and one for the sports centre.
A cheque was presented to the high school on Monday and both Katie and her mum said a “massive, massive thank you” to those who have donated, also to those who have helped on-going fund raising for the North West Air Ambulance, another of Katie’s projects, which has raised more than £800 so far.
Deborah remembers the day Katie collapsed all too clearly.
She said her normally fit and healthy only child had not been feeling well for a few days, had not eaten much and at times was being sick.
Even a trip to the doctor’s surgery didn’t reveal what it was and Katie was advised to keep drinking fluids.
“It was one Saturday afternoon – May 12 – and we had a netball match against Ribble Valley and Preston netball clubs. Katie wasn’t 100 per cent, but said she felt OK. She played about 10 minutes and at the interval said ‘I think I will have to go and have a sit down’. It was sunny, but chilly, and I said she should go and sit down in the car and I said I will come and check on you in a bit,” Debroah said.
Deborah’s mother’s instinct then kicked in and she went over to check on Katie finding her “completely lifeless” in the back of the car.
“I shook her a few times thinking she was just asleep, but couldn’t wake her, so that is when I shouted for help,” she said.
Friends from the match came to their aid, and when they couldn’t detect a pulse, dragged Katie out of the car so one of the mums could carry out CPR, managing to get a small pulse back. It was at this stage, said Deborah, that, had a pulse not been detected, a defibrillator could have been required.
Fortunately for the Morley family, emergency sercices were soon on the scene and, although Katie can’t remember any of the incident, she gradually came around, was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital for various tests and allowed home that night, doctors having described it as “a bad faint”.
“When you look back it was scary. Obviously, I cannot thank people enough for their help, and also for fund-raising,” concluded Deborah.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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