Second defibrillator installed in memory of much-loved Sunderland school staff member Christine Graham

A second piece of life-saving equipment has been installed in memory of a much-loved school staff member.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:54 am
Defibrillators installed in memory of Christine Graham

Christine Graham, 67, worked at St Joseph’s Primary School, Millfield, as a lunch time supervisor and cleaner for more than 30 years, but died suddenly in February after suffering an aortic aneurysm, shortly after finishing her shift.

And sufficient money has now been raised to install a second – outside family run funeral director’s John G Hogg at Martin Terrace, Pallion.

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St Joseph's Primary School defribrillator fundraiser following the death of a school staff member Christine Graham. Front from left Charlotte Dino, 11, Joseph Tudberry, 11 and Ruby Charlton, 10. Back from left Ryan Little, 10, Eloise King, 10, Samantha Chavez, 10 and Daniel Bijo, 11.

Along with agreeing to install the equipment at his premises, Mr Hogg, whose team cared for Christine on her final journey, will be responsible for ensuring the defibrillator remains in good working order.

“I am delighted that we were chosen to be the custodian of the defibrillator,” said Mr Hogg.

“I hope we do not ever have to use it, but it is reassuring that should someone locally suffer heart issues, then we know that this life-saving equipment is in the Pallion community to help save people’s lives.”

The defibrillator was provided by Red Sky Foundation, which supports those with heart issues and their families and was installed free of charge by Chris Burnicle at Harry Burnicle Electrical and Mechanical Contractors.

Chris Burnicle and John Hogg with the second defibrillator in memory of Christine Graham

Mr Burnicle said his company was “proud to have partnered with Red Sky Foundation and John Hogg Funeral Directors to deliver this potential life-saving equipment.

“Having suffered a cardiac arrest myself,” he said, “I understand the importance of having an accessible defibrillator and feel more confident knowing that it is out there ready to save the lives of others.”

Sergio Petrucci, founder of the Red Sky Foundation, said: “Around 5000 people die in the North East from sudden cardiac arrest each year, so it is really important that people have access to these lifesaving pieces of equipment.”

Along with providing defibrillators to North East communities such as Pallion, The North East charity has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy vital equipment for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital, including a unique organ care transplant system.

Much-loved school staff member Christine Graham

It has also funded a specialist Fontan nurse post in the region, the first of its kind in the UK.

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