Jackie Smith, a teacher at Te Kauwhata College, applied for the Become a Heart Saver AED giveaway because she had been in a situation where an AED could have made a huge difference. A colleague at a previous school Jackie taught at suffered a cardiac arrest during a Christmas function on the last day of term. Unfortunately there was no AED available and, despite attempts to perform CPR, her colleague was not able to be revived.
“I saw the competition to win an AED on 7 Sharp and thought we need to get one on site in case something like that happened again,” says Jackie.
Te Kauwhata College has a growing roll of 500 students from years 7 to 13. They are a bi-cultural school and a strong feeling of whanau is instilled in the students. This year they are focussing on wellbeing as a school, and looking after each other.
“The AED will fit in beautifully with what we are teaching about manaakitanga and our focus on wellbeing, because it’s all about keeping ourselves and our visitors safe,” says school principal Deborah Hohneck.
Te Kauwhata College discussed getting an AED a few years ago but it was decided at the time that it was too expensive and the one down the road at the fire station could be used if needed.
However Deborah says, “The sooner you can access an AED, the better for the person that needs it. The fire station was really too far away to access during an emergency so I’m really glad that now we don’t need to worry”.
Cigna, GrownUps and Heart Saver are delighted to donate an AED to Te Kauwhata College to help them take care of their whanau and wider community.