Maria, very sadly lost her husband this year and has told us why she and her family run, about their fundraising efforts and how they hope their efforts can save other families from going through a similar tragedy. Maria in her own words told us:
In January this year my husband was involved in a car accident and as a result of that he suffered a heart attack and died. My husband was only 53 years old and left behind a young family. His name was Harry Lawton.
My daughter, Keira and I started running together at organised races. Keira is only 9 years old and a couple of weeks ago she completed the Wigan and Leigh 5k Colour run without stopping. However during the race another competitor collapsed and both my daughter and I witnessed him receiving CPR. He sadly didn’t survive and at the end of the race when we were collecting our medals the organiser was calling out for the family over the microphone. Witnessing this terribly sad event brought everything back. Up until then we have always entered races for fun but that weekend another family will have felt the terrible loss we have, and we as a family desperately want to reduce the chances of that happening again.
Myself, Keira, Conner and Emily (Harry’s family) are now running to raise funds to buy and install public defibrillators. These defibrillators will be accessible by the public and will save lives. Our first defibrillator will be installed in a public park in Orrell where there are a lot of walkers, joggers and runners but also difficult access for emergency services. We are almost half way to raising enough funds for this life saving equipment and hope to have it installed before the end of this year.
We are raising awareness for our fund-raising by running in organised races starting with the Glow in the Dark 5k on October 28th 2017. Team H have also joined Virtual Runner UK to keep running throughout the year to keep this important fund raising going.
We (Team H) will all run until we raise enough funds to buy and install this public defibrillator and then……we will start again, to buy another…..and then another.
Maria has provided some facts about Cardiac Arrests:
Each year in Britain around 30,000 people are struck by sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital environments. They can affect anyone at any time – from young children at school, to adults when they’re at home, work or out in public places.
Of the the 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 80 per cent happen at home and another 20 per cent occur in public places where, due to a lack of proximity to defibrillators, the victim is at most risk of death.
If a defibrillator is used within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates jump from 6 per cent to 74 per cent.
We are running and raising funds to buy public defibrillators in memory of my husband and my children’s dad: Harry Lawton.
If you would like to support or follow our campaign please visit our Just Giving page.