Tom Blenkinsop MP has this week backed calls for more defibrillators in schools as part of a campaign to save lives.

Last week in parliament Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, met with representatives of the Oliver King Foundation. The foundation, named after a school boy who suffered a fatal heart attack aged 12, campaigns for all schools in the United Kingdom to have access to a lifesaving defibrillator.

Every year in the UK, 30,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. Currently just 1 in 10 survive. Easy access to defibrillator can be difference between life and death, as for every minute that passes chances of survival drop by 10%.

Tom said:

“I am proud to support this important organisation and campaign. It was humbling to meet Mark and see how hard he is working to avoid other parents having to endure the tragedy he has.

“It was great to hear the impact the campaign is already having – including saving the life of a caretaker at a school who had only received the defibrillator two weeks earlier.

“I will be writing to schools in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland to raise awareness of this lifesaving campaign and ask them to consider investing in a defibrillator.”

Mark King, Oliver’s father, said:

“5 years ago when my son Oliver passed away from this hidden heart condition, we didn’t know that his legacy would reach this far. We are determined to save as many young lives as possible, so that no other family has to suffer a similar loss to that of ours.”