Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

A PO­TEN­TIALLY life­sav­ing de­fib­ril­la­tor ar­rived at Mt Druitt PCYC this week as part of an ini­tial roll­out to 27 PCYC clubs in NSW.

“We can now re­spond a lot more ef­fec­tively if we do have a sit­u­a­tion where some­body needs at­ten­tion,” club man­ager Lance Chaloner said.

The $70,000 project, the first phase of an even­tual roll­out to all 63 PCYC clubs across NSW, is be­ing done in part­ner­ship with the Michael Hughes Foun­da­tion.

The char­ity hon­ours Michael Hughes, who died in 2013 aged 38 af­ter he went into sud­den car­diac ar­rest. The foun­da­tion raises aware­ness of sud­den car­diac ar­rest and pro­motes the in­stal­la­tion of ac­ces­si­ble de­fib­ril­la­tors.

Mt Druitt PCYC staff – paid, ac­tiv­i­ties of­fi­cers and vol­un­teers — have more con­fi­dence fol­low­ing ad­di­tional CPR and safety train­ing, paired with the new de­fib­ril­la­tor, Mr Chaloner said.

“The one unit will be in­stalled cen­trally. It’s a very user-friendly unit, which all our staff have had train­ing for and there’s on­go­ing train­ing if we re­quire it.

“This is another level of se­cu­rity and ob­vi­ously well­be­ing for our cen­tre and our (1500) mem­bers.

“For­tu­nately, we have had min­i­mum in­ci­dents not only in this com­plex but also with our out­door ac­tiv­ity, ju­nior rugby league.”

The news was wel­comed by Minch­in­bury’s Betham fam­ily, whose lives were struck by tragedy in 2014, when 15-year-old Ma­niah died from a heart con­di­tion at a bas­ket­ball court while he was with his church youth group.

A beloved rep­re­sen­ta­tive rugby player and cham­pion swim­mer, Ma­niah fell to the ground and only had min­utes to be saved.

Mr Betham said: “Whether the de­fib­ril­la­tor would have saved Ma­niah or not, we will never know, but mostly likely it would have.

“You never know who has a heart con­di­tion and it comes up sur­pris­ingly, so it’s al­ways good to have some a fall­back plan . . . if one child can be saved that’s fan­tas­tic.”

Mt Druitt PCYC ac­tiv­i­ties of­fi­cer Camp­bell Arun­del with the de­fib­ril­la­tor and (in­set) Ma­niah Betham.

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