A schoolgirl, who wants to be a cardiologist when she is older, was thrilled to unveil a new defibrillator at her former primary school having raised the crucial funds to buy and install it.
Claudia Collings, 12, was invited back to St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education School, to watch the defibrillator being installed outside the Seaham school.
She spent her final year at primary school raising £1,000 to install the community defibrillator in connection with the charity, Cardioproof, which is co-ran by Professor Michael Norton. Seaham Town Council funded the installation of a solar-powered cabinet outside the school, on Dene House Road. It is now registered and ready to be used in an emergency.
“I really enjoyed my time at St Mary Magdalen’s and wanted to do something special before I left to go to St Bedes,” said Claudia, who is a pupil of St Bede’s Catholic School in Peterlee, which is also part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust.
“I decided to raise money for a defibrillator for the school because I know how important it is to get to a defibrillator quickly in an emergency. I wanted the pupils and teachers in my school and people in the community to feel safe knowing there is life-saving equipment close by. I would love to think that this defibrillator will someday save somebody’s life.
“When I grow up, I would like to be a doctor, preferably a cardiologist. I am fascinated by hearts and how they work. I am interested in learning more about the heart and I already know the basics of CPR, but I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and would love to teach others one day.”
Professor Michael Norton and Jennifer Bell, Mayor of Seaham, joined St Mary Magdalen headteacher Andrea Goodwin and Claudia to officially unveil the life-saving equipment.
“This is a wonderful legacy for Claudia to leave at her primary school,” said Mrs Goodwin.
“We are thrilled to have the defibrillator in school to serve our community. Moving forward, we have first aid training for pupils and community awareness workshops planned.”
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