A Bill that would bring an end to the current situation in which the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are reliant on your postcode has passed through its first stages without opposition.
Laying out the strong argument for her colleagues to support the Bill, Polegate MP, Maria Caulfield, reflected on the personal story of Oliver King, who at the age of 12 lost his life following a cardiac arrest after winning a swimming competition. No defibrillator was in place at the leisure centre, and a life that could have been saved, was lost.
The Young Mayor of Seaford, Jessica Batchelor, was also highlighted for the important work that she had carried out in securing funding so that defibrillators can be put in place across her local area.
The Bill – which highlights the importance of defibrillators being available within rural communities, such as those within the Lewes constituency, as well as in schools and leisure facilities – will now go ahead to its second reading in the New Year.
Speaking afterwards, Maria said, “I am delighted to have been able to present this important piece of legislation to the House. It was a privilege for me to be able to make this initial step as Oliver King’s father, Mark - who founded leading defibrillator campaigner the Oliver King Foundation - watched from the Public Gallery together with the Young Mayor of Seaford, Jessica Batchellor, who has already done so much to support a cause so close to each of their hearts.
“Early access to a defibrillator can improve the chances of survival from cardiac arrest by as much as 80%. Again, highlighting the many countless lives, both young and old, that could be saved, if defibrillators were more widely available across our country.”