School children cheer as headmaster saved by defibrillator returns
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A headteacher whose life was saved by a defibrillator he installed at his school returned to cheers from his delighted pupils. Nick Sheeran, the head of Birkdale Primary in Southport, suffered a cardiac arrest in August 2022 while on school grounds. Quick-thinking staff administered CPR with a defibrillator provided by a father whose son had died of heart failure years before.
BBC breakfast captured the moment the beloved teacher returned to school, with footage showing Mr Sheeran bursting into an assembly.
He is greeted by clapping children, with one young boy seemingly crying from joy.
He warmly comforts the child, who has is head in his hands, with a brief pat on the shoulders.
The teacher owes his life to staff who used a defibrillator installed in the school under his watch.
He ensured there were two on the premises following a campaign from Mark King.
Mr King’s 12-year-old son, Oliver, died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) in 2011 following a swimming race at David High School in Childwall, Liverpool.
In the years following, the dad has ensured schools across the UK are equipped with defibrillators to avoid another tragic incident via the Oliver King Foundation.
Mr Sheeran is the 68th person saved by the more than 6,000 defibrillators and staff training provided by the foundation.
His colleagues were among those to have received the training, which taught them to administer the machine within 32 seconds.
He told BBC Breakfast how grateful he is to the staff who saved him.
Mr Sheeran said he was “so grateful” and the “luckiest headteacher on the planet”.
He said he is now “raring to go”, having returned to school seven months after his cardiac arrest.
Mr King was also among those celebrating the headteacher’s recovery, comparing the teacher to his late son.
He said that “just like our Ollie”, people “just warmed to him”.
The video of an interview with Mr Sheeran conducted by the Oliver King Foundation has garnered more than one million views, and the foundation now aims to open a testing centre for children that can provide ECG tests for children.
The foundation has also won a 10 year battle to have defibrillators installed at schools, with the Department for Education now aiming to provide all British state schools with a machine by the end of 2023.
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