Harwich/Ipswich: Son fundraising for defibrillators in memory of mum

Laurence Kidd and his dad John will be teaming up to take on a series of fundraising challenges to r

Laurence Kidd and his dad John will be teaming up to take on a series of fundraising challenges to raise £24,000 to buy a dozen defibrillators in memory of their mum Rosemary, of Harwich. - Credit: Archant

A CAMPAIGNING son is appealing for support in his bid to raise £24,000 and buy a dozen heart defibrillators to put in schools and public places in memory of his late mother.

Laurence Kidd believes his mum Rosemary, of Nightingale Close, Harwich, who died in October after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest at a motorway service station, could have been saved if a defibrillator was on site.

The mother-of-six fell ill at the Corley Services on the M6 on September 30 when driving back from a wedding in Wales with her husband John, 65.

Off-duty Suffolk police officer Daniel Aston helped treat Rosemary at the scene before she was taken to Coventry hospital in an ambulance. She died on October 7, aged 64.

But now, Laurence, 28, of Henniker Road, Ipswich, is attempting a series of fundraising events with his dad to help raise £24,000 to buy and install defibrillators across the region – at schools, places of work and other public places.

Laurence, who has plans for a sponsored bike ride from Bramford to Harwich, said: “I’m planning to raise £4,000 initially to buy the first two, and then I will hopefully raise another £20,000 to buy 10 more.

“I’m doing all this in memory of her and hopefully a lot of people can get behind me.

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“I think it is a fitting tribute to a wonderful mother who spent her life helping others. Hopefully I can do the sponsored bike ride soon and get the fundraising started.”

Laurence has already secured the location for his defibrillator, at Bramford CEVC Primary School in Ipswich which his son Tristan attends.

Bramford CEVC Primary School headteacher Jon Eden said: “We will be supporting the campaign to have a defibrillator installed on our school site.

“More than 100,000 people in the UK die of this each year, so our school community will be running fundraising activities towards the provision of the defibrillator.”

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest and can save lives.

If defibrillation is delivered promptly, survival rates as high as 75% have been reported.

Charity Arrhythmia Alliance will be supplying the defibrillators and launching them after Laurence has raised the money as part of their Hearts and Goals Campaign.

Laurence said: “They really are doing a fantastic job and although they are based in Warwickshire the work they are doing is spreading nationwide.”

Laurence added: “After the first one hopefully goes to Bramford Primary School I would like the second defibrillator to go somewhere in Harwich where my mum lived.

“I am also planning through fundraisers to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the fact that it kills 100,000 people in the UK every year.”

Laurence has also set-up an online petition in a bid to get the House of Commons to debate the issue of providing defibrillators to every well-populated public place in the UK

Visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40544 to sign Laurence’s e-petition.

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