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Defribulator donated to Barking pre-school

Local construction contractor, Mixbrow has donated a defribulator to Barking pre-school after a three-year-old child suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at the pre-school.

In February, Annabel Brightwell collapsed while dancing, and pre-school team members Shelley Symonds, Ness Hall, Zoe Corbett, Lucy Glendinning and Elisha Thorpe had to perform CPR for 20 minutes until the paramedics and air ambulance arrived. During this time, they were advised to use the defribulator located outside the village hall - which is also home to the pre-school - but once they opened it, they realised the machine didn’t have child pads and were told by emergency services not to use it under any circumstances.

The incident raised concerns that the pre-school staff needed to have access to, and be able to use, a defribulator on young children. So, they decided to purchase one for their use and had started to fundraise for the £1,500 needed.

Mixbrow Construction who is based on the Lion Barn Industrial Estate in Needham Market heard what the pre-school was doing and stepped in to donate a machine as well as arranging for the staff to receive one-to-one training on how to use the machine by qualified First Aid trainers.

Shelley Symonds is Manager at Barking Pre-school. She commented: “This is an incredible gift from Mixbrow which has given us all peace of mind should we ever have the unfortunate need to use it again.”

Darren Webb, MD of Mixbrow added: “When we heard about Annabel’s story, we realised that things could have gone very differently, and we wanted to help. It is our hope that Shelley and her team never have a reason to call on the defibrillator, but hopefully now they will be confident that they both have the equipment at hand if the need arises and the knowledge to use the equipment in the right way. 

In November, as well as receiving a ‘Special Recognition’ award, the team at Barking Pre-school were joined on stage by Annabel and her parents, when they received the ‘Overall Star of the Year’ at the Stars of Suffolk Awards which honours and recognises community heroes.

Picture shows: Darren Webb and Shelley Symonds with Barking pre-school team

Sue Wilcock