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Firm donates heart machine to Ipswich preschool group

PUBLISHED: 12:27 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 11 December 2018

Darren Webb of Mixbrow and Shelley Symonds with other member of the Barking pre-school group, Needham Market.
Picture: MIXBROW CONSTRUCTION

Darren Webb of Mixbrow and Shelley Symonds with other member of the Barking pre-school group, Needham Market. Picture: MIXBROW CONSTRUCTION

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Suffolk construction contractor Mixbrow has donated a defibrillator to the group where three-year-old Annabel Brightwell suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

Barking Pre-School manager Shelley Symonds and Annabel Brightwell Picture: GREGG BROWNBarking Pre-School manager Shelley Symonds and Annabel Brightwell Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk construction contractor Mixbrow has donated a defibrillator to a Suffolk pre-school where staff members had to perform heart massage on a three-year-old girl.

Annabel Brightwell, who has a heart condition, collapsed while dancing at Barking pre-school in February.

Staff members Shelley Symonds, Ness Hall, Zoe Corbett, Lucy Glendinning and Elisha Thorpe had to perform CPR on Annabel for 20 minutes until paramedics and the air ambulance arrived.

Annabel made a full recovery but the incident raised concerns pre-school staff needed to have access to defibrillator for use on children, so they started to raise the £1,500 needed.

Annabel Brightwell with parents William and Rebecca and staff at Barking preschool group after they saved Annabel's life.  Picture: GREGG BROWNAnnabel Brightwell with parents William and Rebecca and staff at Barking preschool group after they saved Annabel's life. Picture: GREGG BROWN

However Mixbrow Construction, based on the Lion Barn Industrial Estate in Needham Market has now stepped in to donate a machine, as well as arranging for staff training on how to use the machine by qualified first aid instructors.

Shelley Symonds, manager at Barking Pre-school, said: “This is an incredible gift from Mixbrow which has given us all peace of mind should we ever have the unfortunate need to use it again.”

Darren Webb, managing director of Mixbrow added: “When we heard about Annabel’s story we realised things could have gone very differently and we wanted to help.

“It is our hope that Shelley and her team never have a reason to call on the defibrillator, but hopefully now they will be confident that they both have the equipment at hand if the need arises and the knowledge to use the equipment in the right way.”

The need for a child-friendly defibrillator at the pre-school became clear when Annabel collapsed.

Shelley and her colleagues went to use the machine at the village hall which is home to the pre-school but, when they opened it, found the machine had no child pads and were told by emergency services not to use it under any circumstances.

Annabel recovered thanks to the CPR she received and Shelley and Ness are now to receive awards from the Royal Humane Society in recognition of their efforts.

The staff team at Barking also received the Overall Star of the Year award at this year’s Stars of Suffolk awards, where they were joined on stage by Annabel and her grateful parents.

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