Christian Eriksen collapse inspires children to raise money for life-saving defibrillator - 'This may happen to someone in my school'

"This may happen to someone in my school, my family or in our local community and there is no public defibrillator close enough to significantly increase someone’s chances of survival if their heart were to stop."

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:54 pm

Those were the words of a Fishbourne Primary School student who, with his classmates, is aiming to raise £3,000 to install an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the outside wall of the school building.

Like many other children his age, nine-year-old Jamie Gregory watched footballer Christian Eriksen collapse onto the pitch, after suffering a cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 match against Finland last month.

Jamie said: "I was obviously very upset and, after talking with my parents, I realised how vital the quick use of a defibrillator was in saving Eriksen’s life that day.

"I soon learnt that a sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time and without warning."

Jamie's mum, Ali, who works as a learning support assistant at the school, said her son was asking lots of questions after Eriksen collapsed.

"He wanted to know how he had survived," she said. "We explained that a defibrillator saved his life and he asked for one in Fishbourne.

"He did his own research and found that there wasn't one available to the public.

Along with his 'football crazy friends' in Panther Class — Ted, Elliot, Charlie, Joseph and Leo — Jamie will dribble footballs for ten miles in five days around the running track on the school field

"He came up with the fundraising idea. He spoke to his friends and they were keen to help him.

"I'm very proud of him. He was shocked by the whole thing and wanted to make the world a better place as this can happen to anybody."

Along with his 'football crazy friends' in Panther Class — Ted, Elliot, Charlie, Joseph and Leo — Jamie will dribble footballs for ten miles in five days around the running track on the school field.

They have already reached half of the overall fundraising target required to install a potentially life-saving defibrillator outside the school

The thoughtful schoolboys added: "We are really hoping that the local community, and anyone else who is able, will support our important mission.

"We are hoping to raise the funds needed as well as the funds to be able to replace the battery and pads when needed in the future."

Any leftover money would be used to train the staff in the use of the AED could fund basic first aid training for our older pupils.

If you would like to donate, please visit the fundraising page here. Alternatively, you can bring in money to the school office in a 'clearly marked envelope'.