Live-saving kit bought with funds raised in memory of Houghton man who died

Liz Hall (left) pictured handing over one of the defibrillators to Jessica Carlton and Dave Bremman from Houghton Kepier School.
Liz Hall (left) pictured handing over one of the defibrillators to Jessica Carlton and Dave Bremman from Houghton Kepier School.
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THE legacy of a teenager who died in tragic circumstances lives on following a major fund-raising drive.

Ben Hall died aged just 18 after suffering Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome (Sads).

The popular youngster collapsed at home in July 2003, just hours after spending the morning playing football with pals.

Since his death Ben’s distraught family, which includes mum Liz and dad Doug, have thrown themselves into fund-raising in his memory.

Following a drive to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Ben’s death, more than £10,000 has been generated for charity Sads UK following a series of events in Houghton, where he grew up.

The money has now gone towards buying defibrillators, two of which have been given to Kepier Academy, in Houghton, which Ben attended, and Park View School, in Chester-le-Street, as well as one to the Gala Theatre, in Durham City.

Staff at all of the sites are now being taught how to use the defibrillators, which can revive people who have gone into cardiac arrest.

Liz, 58, also mum to Luke, 19, said she was proud to be able to pass on the life-saving equipment in her son’s memory.

“We set out to raise £5,000 so to double that is amazing,” said Liz, who works a nurse.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and particularly at the fun day for Ben last year it felt like the whole of Houghton was there.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to raise so much money that means we can buy these defibrillators for these local schools.

“We couldn’t help Ben, but we just hope that this can stop what happened to us happening to any other people in future.”

Medipro employee Mike Rawson was at Kepier Academy to teach qualified first aiders at the school how to use the defibrillators.

“By having an being able to use a defibrillator, you have a 75 per cent chance of getting a person who suffers cardiac arrest back, he said.

“This will definitely save lives.”

Dave Brennan, community development manager at Kepier Academy, said: “We were more than happy to help with the fund-raising in Ben’s name and this is a great ‘thank you’ for us.

“We don’t have a defribrillator at the school and it’s not something the school would be able to afford.

“But it’s wonderful that a school like ours, with 1,300 learners and 150 staff, and a place that is open on evenings and weekends, have a defibrillator on site.

“It will be of huge benefit to the community.”