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Arrangement between emergency medical equipment maker Zoll and Garry and Ellis Kerr leads to a new defibrillator being donated to Thurlow Primary School




A chance meeting at an awards event has led to a top-of-the-range defibrillator being donated to Thurlow Primary School last Thursday.

The school is attended by Ellis Kerr, who turned nine last Saturday, and it had already begun to fund-raise for a defibrillator to be placed on site as it has a swimming pool that is used by the public.

So when Ellis and his dad Garry, of Haverhill, attended the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards in September, where they received a Community Hero award for helping to save the life of another golfer who had a heart attack during a round at Haverhill Golf Club in August 2017, fortune was on their side.

On the same table as them was Adrian Waller, from Zoll, the world's largest maker of emergency medical equipment, and he was so impressed by Garry and Ellis' story he decided to donate the £1,500 machine to the school.

Thurlow Primary School pupils, including Ellis Kerr (holding the defibrillator) are joined by, from left: George Vestey, the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Garry Kerr, head teacher Sharon FitzGerald, Emma Pitt, chair of governors, Adrian Waller, from Zoll, and Cllr Margaret Marks, the Mayor of St Edmundsbury
Thurlow Primary School pupils, including Ellis Kerr (holding the defibrillator) are joined by, from left: George Vestey, the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Garry Kerr, head teacher Sharon FitzGerald, Emma Pitt, chair of governors, Adrian Waller, from Zoll, and Cllr Margaret Marks, the Mayor of St Edmundsbury

Mr Waller said: "I know exactly how much effort goes into raising money, so I said I would be very happy, in my position, to help them and to donate one to the school."

The defibrillator donation is massive bonus for the school, said head teacher Sharon FitzGerald.

She said: "As a small school with finite funding, that funding can now be used for other things at the school."

Pupils will, in due course, added Mrs FitzGerald, receive first aid training with the help of St John Ambulance.

Also at the defibrillator presentation was the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr Margaret Marks, who presented Garry and Ellis each with a gift of gratitude, and the High Sheriff of Suffolk, and Thurlow resident, George Vestey, who presented the father and son with a High Sheriff Certificate of Recognition.

The High Sheriff of Suffolk, George Vestey, presents Garry and Ellis Kerr with their Certificate of Recognition
The High Sheriff of Suffolk, George Vestey, presents Garry and Ellis Kerr with their Certificate of Recognition

Garry said: "Being given any defibrillator is beyond what we expected. I had no expectation at all on that front, it didn't even cross my mind, so to be given a unit to give to the school is amazing really and it's beyond our dreams."



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