Life-saving defibrillator presented to football club

By Maurice Garvey

THE Ciarán Carr Foundation presented a defibrillator to Cherry Orchard FC last Monday.

Phillip Carr and his wife Gemma, linked up with a Cherry Orchard FC coach Keith McCormack, who was instrumental in securing the life-saving equipment for the club.

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Gemma and Philip Carr with Harry, Keith, Kian and Bobby McCormack at the presentation last Monday

Keith’s son Harry (3) has a congenital heart defect and is preparing for his fifth open heart surgery in September.

The youngster was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome right after he was born in October 2016.

Since then, Oranmore resident Keith has campaigned for defibrillators to be put in schools – succeeding at St Michael’s NS, where his three other sons attend.

Keith and his wife Leanne previously joined the Show Some Heart campaign, to spread awareness of the need for defibrillators in schools and training for teachers to use the equipment.

“The Bill (Show Some Heart) passed a year and a half ago in the Dáil. We are just waiting for it to be brought in,” said Keith.

“At the moment, I am trying to get funding for a defibrillator at The Lawns. Over 300 kids are playing there every week. It costs €1,500, but two football clubs have already raised €600.”

Young Harry is not yet four years old, but awaits his fifth open heart surgery on September 1 at Crumlin Hospital.

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Aaron Callaghan (Director of Coaching), Gemma and Philip Carr with Harry, Keith, Kian and Bobby McCormack, Stephen O’Brien (Schoolboy Chairman), Gerry Montey (Honorary Secretary) Photos by Paddy Barrett

“He can’t go to pre-school because of bacteria according to doctors,” said Keith.

Harry’s heart defect causes an inadequate blood supply to the lungs, which also leads to severe difficulties at places like children’s play areas.

A statement by Cherry Orchard FC said: “Defibrillators are something that means a lot to Keith and his family, especially in Cherry Orchard FC where he has three kids playing.

Keith has rallied hard to get defibrillators for the club to aid any situation needed.

“Fantastic work by Keith and a huge ‘thank you’ to the Ciaran Carr Foundation who donated the defibrillator to us.”

Ciarán Carr collapsed while training with Round Towers senior football team in 2012 – his death attributed to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).

With help from the community, Ciarán’s parents Gemma and Philip, set up the foundation, and have helped to install defibrillators and train hundreds of people in their use.

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