A WOMAN who launched an appeal to buy defibrillators for schools in and around Henley has been shortlisted for another award
A WOMAN who launched an appeal to buy defibrillators for schools in and around Henley has been shortlisted for another award.
Sarah Roberts, 47, of King’s Road, Henley, is nominated in the first aid category of this year’s St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards.
She won a Sue Ryder women of achievement award in 2014 for the Millie's Dream appeal, which is name after her nine-year-old daughter, who has a heart and lung condition.
She planned to raise £15,000 to equip 10 schools with defibrillators but the appeal has so far funded a total of 50 machines, many of them in villages or public spaces.
Mrs Roberts said: “We’ve had enormous support from the local community and I’m delighted with how well the scheme has been received.
“I truly hope the defibrillators never have to be used but the important thing is that they are there and if they save just one person’s life then it’s been worth all the effort.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for the award.”
Millie, who is a pupil at Rupert House School in Henley, was born with tracheobronchial malacia, a narrowing of her windpipe, and was subsequently diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, an electrical malfunction of the heart which in severe cases may be life-threatening.
After researching the condition, Mrs Roberts bought the family an automated external defibrillator to have at home.
But, following the story of footballer Fabrice Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch and surviving thanks to a defibrillator, she decided to launch the appeal.
Since then, Millie has had a device implanted in her chest which is connected to the cardiac unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital to monitor her heart activity 24 hours-a-day.
Each person shortlisted in the St John Ambulane awards has been nominated for heroic lifesaving skills or unstinting commitment to ensuring more lives are saved through first aid.
The awards ceremoney will be held London on September 7 and will be hosted by musician and TV personality Myleene Klass, who saved her daughter from choking using first aid.