Head teacher saved by Oliver King Foundation defibrillator

Posted: 24th March 2023

A head teacher whose life was saved by a defibrillator has been welcomed back by his pupils, seven months after having a cardiac arrest in his school.

Nick Sheeran said he felt “overwhelmed” to see the children at Birkdale Primary School in Southport again.

He was given first aid by staff members after he collapsed.

They were trained in how to use the defibrillator provided by Mark King, whose son Oliver died when his heart stopped in a swimming lesson in 2011.

Mr King has spent the last 11 years getting the machines put into schools after 12-year-old Oliver died at King David High School in Childwall, Liverpool.

When Mr Sheeran collapsed, his colleagues started first aid and were able to use one of the machines within 32 seconds.

The devices provide a high-energy electric shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

Deputy head teacher David Jessop told BBC Breakfast: “There was a sense of positiveness about the whole situation.

“There was no negative, there was no ‘what’s going to happen’ it was all very positive.

“It’s only afterwards that you realise the gravity of the whole situation.”

Teacher Naomi Williams said it was “emotional” to see Mr Sheeran on his return.

“He comes in and he’s back to his usual self and it was nice to see the children;’s reaction,” she said. “They’ve missed him.”

Mr Sheeran is the 68th person to be successfully treated with a defibrillator provided by the Oliver King Foundation.

The foundation has placed more than 6,000 defibrillators in schools and organisations across the UK since 2012, with the government pledging to install them in all schools by the summer.

Mr King said it was “very emotional” to be at the school to see Mr Sheeran’s return.

He said he was “ecstatic” that a defibrillator the foundation had provided “was there to save his life”.

“The kids love him, he’s been well missed because he’s a massive personality in this school,” he said.

“He’s like our Ollie, people just warmed to him.”

Mr Sheeran said: “I’m the luckiest head teacher on the planet and so grateful to everyone and the part that they played in saving my life.

“I’m raring to go.”

Source: Head teacher saved by Oliver King Foundation defibrillator – BBC News

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