Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I hope your family never needs one' - mum of boy (9) saved by defibrillator has a message for vandals

Debbie Donnelly (Manager Rush CommunityCentre), Stephen Kelly (Rush Heart Safe) and Aidan Langley (Rush Community First Responders)
Debbie Donnelly (Manager Rush CommunityCentre), Stephen Kelly (Rush Heart Safe) and Aidan Langley (Rush Community First Responders)

John Manning

THE mother of a nine-year-old boy from Rush who collapsed in the school playground and was saved by a defibrillator has told mindless vandals who attacked a public defibrillator cabinet in Rush that she hopes "a member of their family never needs one".

Vandals broke a lock on the cabinet for a public defibrillator outside Eurospar in Rush, north county Dublin and cracked the glass of the cabinet.

Thankfully, an alarm on the box appears to have scared the vandals away and the defibrillator itself was left untouched but for the Kelly family, the attack feels personal.

Last September, Deirdre and Stephen Kelly’s nine-year-old son, Sean collapsed in the school playground at Gaelscoil Ros Eo in Rush but thanks to the quick actions of staff, and the presence of a defibrillator moments away in a nearby GAA club, Sean was revived and according to his mum, he is back at school and back to full health today.

The incident inspired the Rush family to make Rush the safest place there is to have a cardiac arrest and built on the work of Rush First Responders and others to form Rush Heart Safe with the aim of installing five public defibrillators around the town.

The one that was vandalised was the first of two defibrillator to be installed already in Rush and a third one was unveiled at Martin’s Shop, last week.

Commenting on the particularly callous and insensitive act of vandalism, Deirdre told the Fingal Independent: "It’s ridiculous, it’s just pure mindless vandalism and they’ve achieved nothing by it."

"You never know who is going to need a defibrillator and when and we know that because we never thought our nine-year-old son would need one.

"So, I hope the people who did this never have a family member that needs one like we did."

The Rush mum added: "Myself and Stephen have taken this quite personally. What happened to our son and the amazing support we got from this community inspired us to try to give back to the community by raising money for these AEDs."

She said whoever carried out the act of vandalism "had no sense" but said that thanks to her husband, who was able to fix the damaged lock, the repairs came at no cost to the campaign. Undeterred, the campaign is moving on with the unveiling of its third defibrillator unveiled last week and two more in the pipeline.

Fingal Independent

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