A big-hearted family man has spearheaded a campaign raising thousands of pounds to put life-saving defibrillators into every school and community centre on the estate where he lives.
Lee Challinor, 34, was inspired to fundraise for the £1,000 units because three of his six children, Georgia-Lea, 16, Elle-May, 12 and Millie, nine, have a heart condition called pulmonary stenosis.
So far defibrillators have been placed in Blacon High School along with Highfield, Dee Point, and The Arches primary schools with one on order for St Theresa’s and the final school will be JH Godwin.
Lee, a joiner, who lives with partner Melanie Lloyd in Melbourne Road, Blacon, said: “I would like to thank all that have helped and supported us. I look forward in working together with the chain of survival to deliver effective defibrillator placement and awareness.”
Lee organised a balloon race on Valentine’s Day which raised £2,100 together with a £500 donation from transport firm Arriva. Next he wants generate cash for defibrillators – which shock the heart back into its normal rhythm following a heart attack – to be installed in community buildings such as Blacon Children’s Centre and in shops at The Parade and Western Avenue.
Anne Jolly, a spokeswoman for cardiac charity SADS UK, which has backed Lee’s efforts by donating the balloons and £780, said: “The donation and placement of defibrillators in schools is absolutely crucial as sudden cardiac arrest can affect a person of any age, even children.”
Well-known sculptor Stephen Broadbent, 52, from Burwardsley, was brought back to life thanks to paramedics equipped with a defibrillator after he suffered a massive heart attack at Chester Railway Station last year.
Nick Blair, of North West Ambulance Service, which has provided in-school training on how to use the defibrillators, said: “The machines are so simple to use and you really cannot do any further harm to the patient.”
Other donations to the cause include £1,000 from Blacon councillors, £400 from Avenue Services. In addition, a Santa sleigh at Christmas raised £842 and the next event will be an Easter raffle. Lee needs to raise a total of £11,000 to fulfil his mission.
For more information and to make a donation, visit the Blacon Defibrillator Fund on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01244 421027.
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