Mark King, the man responsible for the rollout of over 20,000 defibrillators to over 18,000 state-funded schools, joins us on the show this week.
Mark founded The Oliver King Foundation after his son, Ollie, sadly and unexpectedly died from a cardiac arrest while competing in a swimming race in a PE lesson at school. Ollie had Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), which is a hidden heart condition that kills 12 young people every week.
Mark started the charity to improve the amount of and access to life-saving defibrillators up and down the country. It’s believed that if the school had a defibrillator and were trained on how to use it, then Ollie’s life may have been saved.
After years of campaigning, Mark delivered the first of 20,000 defibrillators to Oliver’s school, King David High, on Friday 20th January, as part of a government-backed rollout to ensure that almost 18,000 state-funded schools up and down the country have access to at least one potentially lifesaving defibrillator.
In this episode, Mark tells us about his and Ollie's story, the work that the foundation does, how the government are finally rolling out defibrillators to schools up and down the country, and all about his next venture, as he begins setting up test centres to identify young people with SADS and cardiac disorders - with long-time supporter, former footballer Jamie Carragher.
Find out how you can donate, fundraise, and support The Oliver King Foundation on their website here: https://theoliverkingfoundation.co.uk/
Cup only half full? Follow Tea with the Changemakers on TikTok, for behind-the-scenes content and clips from our episodes!