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Health scare sees Invergordon school get its own defibrillator


By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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South Lodge Primary head teacher David Hayes-Macleod receives a defibrillator from Laura Dryburgh, Kim Dryburgh and Georgia Dryburgh. Picture: Callum Mackay
South Lodge Primary head teacher David Hayes-Macleod receives a defibrillator from Laura Dryburgh, Kim Dryburgh and Georgia Dryburgh. Picture: Callum Mackay

An Invergordon primary school has welcomed an “extremely generous” donation, after a woman collapsed at the school, forcing staff to “rush around” the town to find a defibrillator.

Blair Junor was walking to South Lodge Primary School, where she works as a pupil support assistant, in April when she collapsed on the school field.

Although she was unconscious at the time she was told afterwards what had happened.

“Two parents who are both nurses helped get me into the recovery position,” she said. “But after calling 999, they found out that an ambulance would take a while to get to the school.”

The call handler advised getting hold of a defibrillator, just in case.

Blair continued: “They couldn’t access the defibrillator nearest to the school, so then they had to drive down the street to get the one at the Church of Scotland.

“Thankfully, they didn’t have to use it on me and the ambulance arrived soon and took me to hospital.

“I was taken care of really well, I was very lucky — although it’s still a mystery what happened to me, and they are still investigating it.”

South Lodge Primary 50th year celebrations

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After hearing what had happened, Laura and Kim Dryburgh who both have children at the school and who both work at Lifeaid Defibrillators, which works to provide defibrillators across communities, decided to donate one of the potentially life-saving devices to the school free of charge, so there’s always one ready in an emergency.

“I think it’s great, anything could happen to anyone in the school. We are so lucky to have Laura and Kim at our school to donate a defibrillator — I think every school should have one,” Blair said.

“It was a horrible morning, but I’m glad that some good has come of it. Usually it’s the kids falling, but this time it was me!!

And she added: “I think our headteacher, David Hayes-MacLeod, will be making sure we all learn about defibrillators, and staff will be getting a training day too I imagine — he’s a fantastic headteacher. The kids will soon notice the new defibrillator and will want to know all about it too I’m sure!”

Blair is currently off work after her health scare, but is looking forward to returning after the summer.

She added: “Everyone has been lovely, within just a couple days I had about 200 messages on Facebook from folk asking how I was. I’m very lucky.”

Kim Dryburgh said: “We are donating a free defibrillator to South Lodge Primary School as we couldn't bear to think that a teacher or pupil might suffer without one. Sadly we don’t have the funds to give one to every school.

“Our children attend this school and the moment we heard what happened, we didn’t hesitate to provide one. We obviously hope that the school never needs to use it, but we do hope that knowing there’s a defibrillator will bring peace of mind to staff, parents and the wider community.”

Mr Hayes-MacLeod said: “I cannot thank Lifeaid Defibrillators enough for this most generous donation. The medical emergency that we had with our member of staff really brought home how important it is to have a defibrillator in a school.

“Our staff had to rush around the local area to access one of the nearest defibrillators which thankfully was not needed, but shows just how critical it could have been if we did need it.

“This defibrillator will also be registered on the network so that any member of the public who requires one can come in and borrow it in an emergency. I hope that this story will show other schools just how important it is to have one in their premises, and maybe through fundraising other schools may also be able to have this life-saving equipment.”


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