Parents of brave Harry aim to put defibrillators in all schools

By Brittany King

PARENTS of a baby born with half a heart, are campaigning for defibrillators to be put in every school in the country.

Keith and Leanne McCormack, from Ballyfermot, are parents of one-year-old Harry, who was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome after he was born in October 2016.

Harry McCormack

The heart syndrome is a congenital heart defect that needs immediate and emergency treatment as the right ventricle of the heart fails to grow and develop properly.

The defect causes an inadequate blood supply to the lungs.

Keith and Leanne have joined the Show Some Heart campaign, to spread awareness of the need for defibrillators in all schools and teach teachers how to use them.

Harry has already gone through four open-heart surgeries.

“He was on a ECMO machine for five days, until Christmas Eve, so this time around we are looking forward to Christmas” said Keith.

“There is one defibrillator between St Michael’s, St Raphael’s and St Gabriel’s, but we need one in each school. The school Principal Ms Burke has been very supportive and is totally behind the campaign.”

Keith has also been working with the local chapter of St John’s Ambulance, to bring about positive change.

“Mick Cardiff and Padraig Allen are trying to get a defib into the shops near Chasers,” said Keith.

In August, businesses in Grange Cross banded together to fund €2,200 for a defib and first responder training – courtesy of St John’s Ambulance.

The family hope the campaign will ensure more schools get the appropriate equipment for children with heart defects, as Harry will soon be following his four brothers (Jack 12, Bobby eight, Kian, six, and three-year-old George) to school.

“I’m hoping to get a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris, his wife was a nurse in the Harry’s ward at Our Lady’s,” said Keith.

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