Doncaster parent’s lasting legacy could prove a real live-saver

Ken and Jackie Waight, of Sprotbrough, are campaigning for as many places as possible in Doncaster to have a defibrillator.Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 21-10-14 Waight MC 5
Ken and Jackie Waight, of Sprotbrough, are campaigning for as many places as possible in Doncaster to have a defibrillator.Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 21-10-14 Waight MC 5

A Doncaster campaigner is one step closer to creating a lasting legacy to his son by distributing life-saving heart equipment to every school in the borough.

Ken Waight and his wife vowed to do what they could to stop other families from going through the same heartbreak after their son Richard Waight died suddenly in his sleep in November 2009 from sudden arrhythmia death syndrome – SADS.

Ken and Jackie Waight, of Sprotbrough, are campaigning for as many places as possible in Doncaster to have a defibrillator.Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 21-10-14 Waight MC 4

Ken and Jackie Waight, of Sprotbrough, are campaigning for as many places as possible in Doncaster to have a defibrillator.Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 21-10-14 Waight MC 4

And since last summer the couple have been working with national charity SADS UK to distribute defibrillators – the very equipment that could have saved Richard’s life – to as many schools as they can across Doncaster.

Doncaster schools North Ridge Community, Salters Gate Infant, Richmond Hill, Armthorpe Southfield, Ash Hill, Toll Bar Primary School and Outwood Academy have all received defibrillators since January – and Ken is hoping to donate several more before the end of the year.

Once Ken, of Boat Lane, Sprotbrough has donated as many defibrillators as possible to Doncaster schools, he says he will then turn his attention to the town’s sports grounds and centres.

Ken said: “We’re very pleased with how it’s gone so far and that we’ve been able to keep it going.

“We’re also very pleased with the way we’ve been able to work with SADS UK to get the defibrillators,

“They do a great job in reconditioning them. And because of that we’ve been able to keep that going. I have no intention of stopping – there’s always going to be somewhere that will benefit from having a defibrillator.”

Ken also helped to raise more than £7,200, a large proportion of which was given to SADS UK, through an annual golf fundraising day in May this year.

He added: “The important thing is to raise awareness of SADS and keep that subject out there.

“I’m sure if Richard was here now he’d be proud of what I’ve been able to do and would be overwhelmed by how much has been raised in his name.”

* Any Doncaster school that would like to receive a defibrillator should contact Ken on kenwaight@outlook.com