More than 100 students, staff and members of the local community have been trained to save lives thanks to De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s unique partnership with a Leicestershire charity.
The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), set up after the death of 14-year-old Joe from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) in 2012 while out on a training jog near his home, brought celebrity patrons Martin Johnson and Chris Edwards to De Montfort University (DMU) this week as part of SADS Week.
Kasabian star Chris Edwards learnt basic CPR at Wednesday’s ‘Restart A Heart Day’ in the Campus Centre, as delivered by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and HeartWize programme.
All those who attended learned a valuable life skill and were presented with a certificate.
Just over 24 hours later, students then dived deeper into the context behind SADS, and what we can do to prevent the more than 600 deaths related deaths in young people each year.
The Thursday evening talk was opened by long time JHMT patron and England’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain, Martin Johnson.
He said: “It’s been five years now since we lost Joe, but this issue isn’t going away.
“It can happen to anyone at any time, and so the Trust is all about raising awareness and getting training for people to understand what they need to do.
“You’ll see hundreds of fire extinguishers walking around here, and we want defibrillators to be as common as that.
“CPR is something anyone can learn really quickly; modern defibrillators even talk to you to tell you what to do. It really is a no-brainer.”
Joe’s father Steve Humphries told the audience: “We have 30,000 cardiac arrests [a year] in the UK that are witnessed by other people, and less than 10% of those people survive.
“Other countries are steaming ahead of us; but we can all make that difference. You’ve got the answers, you can help.
“Ultimately, we will get a heart safe community; it’s happening. But we need to contribute towards that now, because ultimately, what price do you put on a life?”
The Campus Centre became home to the first public access defibrillator on the DMU campus back in April this year, when we unveiled the lifesaving equipment in partnership with JHMT. You can read more here.
You can find out more about the Trust’s work, and how you can get involved, on their website here as well as following them on Facebook and Twitter.
Ahtesham Mahmood, President of DSU, also completed the 30-minute CPR training alongside Chris Edwards and student volunteers.