The Oliver King Foundation wants to ensure there is a defibrillator above every fire extinguisher in the UK as the charity bids to make the country a safer place.
Mark King set up the foundation in 2012 after his 12-year-old son Oliver (pictured right) tragically died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) whilst taking part in a swimming race in March 2011.
Now, the foundation wants to give people across the country the best chance of living a long and healthy life while keeping Oliver’s legacy alive.
It took over 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive to treat Oliver and without a defibrillator on site the chances of survival drop drastically every minute.
“You have four minutes to act before it becomes too late,” said Mark, who has been working tirelessly over the past 11 years to make sure there is defibrillator in every school and sports club in the UK.
Their hard work paid off in April 2022 when the Foundation ensured there was a defibrillator in every school across the country. With the help of £19 million of government support, there are now over 20,000 defibrillators available.
Said Mark: “After 11 years, five Prime Ministers, 14 ministers, we finally got to the finish line out of the main things we wanted to do, our main aims.”
And yet the Foundation is far from done. They have now struck up a partnership with Rainbow Restorations, a fire and flood damage company based in Mansfield.
Said Mark: “They are working very closely with us, and they are going to put 300 defibrillators in every van they have got on the road.
“My mission now is to get this legislated so whenever you see a fire extinguisher, you will see a defib above it.”
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As well as making sure a defibrillator is available should the need arise, the charity is also delivering vital training on how to use them.
“It is a scary piece of kit, but that’s why we travel around the country to take the fear factor away,” said Mark.
“It’s a two-hour training session. It’s a life changing bit of skill that lasts the rest of your life. CPR never changes and the use of a defib will never change, so once you have seen it working once, are used to being around one and seeing one, it will take the fear factor out of using it.”
Mark is determined that nobody else should go through what he and his family have experienced when a defibrillator could save a life.
He said: “I won’t stop, I can’t stop. Because if I stop and hear about young lives being lost then it’s on me because I know about it and I could have done something about it and that is exactly what I am going to do.
“My Ollie never let me down once when he was with me, and I will never let him down. We will fight to the end.”
Mark has urged people to help with the campaign by contacting their local MP’s if they feel more defibrillators are required in their area.
He said: “Write to their MP’s, tell them what they want, at the end of the day we voted them in to do a job for us and this is a massive job.
“If we all come together, we can get this over the line and make our country a safer place.”
For more information about The Oliver King Foundation and to make a donation, visit the website HERE.