The family of a former student of St. Ignatius Catholic School who died following a heart transplant has donated a defibrillator to the school and its church.
Sean Darby died in 2006 following complications after the heart transplant. The Darby family started a fund to help families who had no insurance for sick children or other projects that would benefit children.
Medical director of Cayman Heart Fund Dr. Sook Yin said schools, colleges or universities should have automated external defibrillators on campus, but stressed it was vital that people knew how to use them and that they were maintained properly.
‘A school is an important public place teeming with students, staff, faculty, parents, and visitors arriving for various school activities, such as meetings, plays, recitals, graduations, fairs, etc.,’ she said.
‘There is a chance someone will collapse from sudden cardiac arrest anywhere that large numbers regularly congregate. Sudden cardiac arrest can strike adults and children of any fitness level.
‘Most schools can’t afford to have a doctor or emergency medical team on campus during school hours and during after-school activities but they can afford to have easy-to-use AED machines,’ Dr. Yin added.
The Cayman Heart Fund is encouraging schools to be trained in the use of defibrillators because simply handing a defibrillator to a school is a ‘recipe for failure’.
A statement from the Fund read: ‘We would like to encourage other companies to participate and donate an AED machine to a school of their choice. We hope they never have to use it, but if something should happen, an AED machine drastically helps increase a person’s chance of survival.’
George Hicks High School also recently received a defibrillator.
Pat Ramoon, head of human resources at First Caribbean Bank presented an AED machine to the school as part of the bank’s efforts to assist within the community.
Ms Ramoon said: ‘At First Caribbean, we feel this is an extremely important project and a great way to give back to the community. We hope that our support will help save lives.’