Dungiven granny's life-saving move

A Dungiven woman inspired by her brave granddaughter has raised enough money to buy a life-saving defibrillator for a local primary school.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:16 pm
Mary Donaghy handing over the defibrillator to her granddaughter, Hope and other children from St Canice P.S, Bernie Carberry, Marcella Donaghy. Nicola O, Kane (classroom assistant) and St. Canice's P.S. Dungiven Principal Ciaran Loane.

Mary Donaghy raised £1,200 for the purchase of a defibrillator and outside storage unit for St. Canice P.S., Dungiven, where her granddaughter, Hope, is a pupil.

Five-year-old Hope is living life to the full and has defied the odds despite being born with a rare condition, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which meant she was born with half a heart.

Mary said: “I was inspired in the beginning by Hope and thinking of her, but then when I realised she would never need it because of the nature of her problems, I thought I would do it for the school.”

Mary raised the money by holding a coffee morning and seven craft classes where her “great band of friends” supported her and made donations.

“I thought if I could raise £300 or £400 I’d be doing well. I never thought this much would be raised.”

Mary, who has fundraised for the Foyle Hospice in the past, said her friends encouraged her to start the campaign and she thanked everyone who made a donation.

Mary hopes the defibrillator is never used “but,” she said, “you never know.” She presented the defibrillator to a delighted Hope and fellow students and staff.

St. Canice P.S. Principal, Ciaran Loane said, thanks to Mary. the school - 30 staff and 325 pupils - and school community has instant access to the equipment if needed.

“It’s a very impressive contribution to the school and it means the whole school and all the groups that use the school, have instant access to this life-saving equipment,” said Mr Loane.

“All staff will be provided with training in CPR and shown how to use the defibrillator. Hopefully, we won’t have to use it, but it’s there if need be.”

The defibrillator is situated on the wall beside the school pitch, which means underage football and camogie teams will also have access to it during training in the evening time.

Mary’s son and Hope’s dad, James added: “I think it’s great. It’s there for everybody and I think every school should have one. It’s better there than not there.”