A MOTHER has been presented with a life saving piece of equipment to protect her daughter while she is at school.
National heart rhythm charity, Arrhythmia Alliance, has donated a lifesaving automated external defibrillator (AED) to Cheadle mum Anna Howard, aged 31, during an awareness assembly at Faber Catholic Primary School in Cotton.
Anna's daughter, Joanna aged 10, attends the school and suffers from a rare heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) called Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT), which means she is at risk of suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest at any time.
Blackouts are commonly associated with the condition and in Joanna's case, can be triggered when her heart rate picks up to a certain level.
Anna said: "Joanna suffered spells of feeling faint and blacking out last summer. Shortly after this that we got a referral to Birmingham Children's Hospital where doctors checked the physiology of her heart and held an exercise stress test to monitor changes in her heart rate."
Joanna, who is one of four children, received her diagnosis on March 3 2014.
AEDs can be used by anyone to shock a person's heart back into normal rhythm if they suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.
"They increase the chance of someone surviving from nine per cent to 50 per cent when compared to the use of CPR alone.
The device has been donated under the charity's high profile Hearts and Goals campaign, which supports the placement of lifesaving equipment and provides CPR and AED training in schools and communities across the UK.
Anna, who thanked Arrhythmia Alliance for the donation, added: "We are so grateful to Arrhythmia Alliance for their kind donation, the AED provides a great deal of reassurance for us.
"I am so grateful to the staff and our allocated family liaison nurse at Birmingham Children Hospital for putting us in touch and providing Joanna with a diagnosis so quickly."
Arrhythmia Alliance Founder and Trustee, Trudie Lobban MBE, said: "Arrhythmia Alliance is proud to donate this lifesaving device and hold an education session at Faber Catholic Primary School as part of our Hearts & Goals campaign in schools and communities.
"With this device close at hand for use in the event of an emergency we hope it will provide reassurance to both Anna and Joanna.
"Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, at any time, and is the UK's biggest killer, killing more people than breast cancer, lung cancer and Aids combined.
"Every school should have lifesaving public-access AEDs available 24/7 ready in cases of emergency."
Arrhythmia Alliance joined the school assembly to hold an awareness and education session around CPR and use of an AED in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.