A mother in Britain discovered a poignant outlet for her sorrow. Her 18-year-old son had a cardiac attack, and the nearest kit was hidden away in a school. As a result, she is having 20 defibrillators erected across her village.
Early on New Year’s Day, Jamie Rees passed out while visiting a friend. According to West Midlands Ambulance Service, the holiday was unusually busy, with three other emergency calls arriving just before theirs.
Despite the CPR that his friends gave him, he did not receive enough oxygen until paramedics came, and he passed away on January 5 at a hospital.
Since then, Jamie’s mother, Naomi Rees-Issitt, has sought the help of friends and family to raise money to purchase 20 defibrillators for Jamie’s hometown of Rugby.
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The 43-year-old said: “There are defibs out there (but they) are locked in buildings.”
“You can’t pre-plan your cardiac arrest. Defibrillators that are locked in buildings are pretty pointless.”
Naomi explained: “The ambulance pulled up to Jamie’s side in 19.5 minutes. If you reach a person in cardiac arrest in seven minutes the chances of getting his heart beating again is 70%.”
Because of the overwhelmingly positive response from the community, Naomi and the rest of the family’s fundraising efforts have been so successful that what began with just one defibrillator has now grown to 20 kits.
Naomi, a manager at a charity and mother of two, made the decision to formally establish the OurJay Foundation as a charity.
“We started funding for money to set up a defibrillator outside the school. We started Jamie’s JustGiving campaign on January 26, and by the 27th, we’d raised £3,000. Jamie was really loved by members of his college.”
They made the decision to continue, and donations increased steadily until they peaked at around $14,000.
“We can’t thank people enough. The support has been amazing.”
“It’s such a minor amount of money to save a life.”
After he passed away, Jamie was still able to help the neighborhood in various ways. He had earlier expressed his desire to be an organ donor to his family and signed the donor register three times to confirm his intentions.