A LIFESAVING defibrillator has been donated to an Erskine school in memory of a young man who died from heart complications.

Supporting the Big Shock campaign organised by national cardiac charity SADS UK, Jill Reid donated the machine to Barsail Primary.

Jill’s cousin Kenny lost his son Matthew Seymour to Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS). A law graduate from Bishopton, he was just 21 when he died in 2014.

Although he had complained of feeling unwell a short time before he passed away, he was said to have been a fit and healthy young man, with no previous history of illness.

Kenny said: “Matthew graduated with a degree in law in July 2014 and moved home to Bishopton from Aberdeen almost straight away.

“He got himself a job for the summer and began pre-season training with the rugby club in July. He was the fittest he had ever been, establishing himself as a first-team regular.

“In October 2014, Matthew had been training as usual with Bishopton Rugby Club. After feeling unwell, he arrived home and collapsed almost immediately.

“He had suffered a cardiac arrest.”

Kenny performed CPR and two paramedic crews worked frantically to keep Matthew alive, but he could not be saved.

Staff at Barsail Primary were keen to place a defibrillator at the school as they understand how important it is to provide early intervention when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

Anne Jolly, founder of SADS UK, said: “We are pleased that Barsail Primary School will now benefit from having a defibrillator to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest on the premises.

“After meeting with policymakers, SADS UK is pleased that the Department for Education is advising schools to consider the defibrillator as part of its first aid equipment.

“This gives the Big Shock campaign for legislating for defibrillators in all schools an enormous boost.

“Defibrillators in schools will save young lives.”

For further information about funding research into SADS or placing a defibrillator in your community, call Anne on 01277 811215, email info@sadsuk.org or visit www.sadsuk.org.