A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy who collapsed several times at pre-school now has a potential lifeline after his mother fundraised to buy a defibrillator.

Lewi Jessiman, from Stonesfield, near Witney, experiences unexplained episodes which leave him unconscious and mean he has to be rushed to hospital.

His mum Kirsty Jessiman helped raise £1,500 to buy the piece of kit, which will be mounted on the school wall and accessible to the whole village.

Earlier this month, Mrs Jessiman and 25 residents in the village received training on how to use the defibrillator and admitted she only recently became aware of its importance.

She said: “The first thing we were always asked on the phone when Lewi collapsed was ‘is there a defibrillator in the village?’

“It had never occurred to us that we would need one.

“It could be a massive help to anyone in the village.”

Around 600 children die in the UK each year due to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), a sudden and unexplained death.

Almost half of these cases occur at school, yet few educational establishments carry defibrillators on-site.

This shocking statistic is one reason why Mrs Jessiman and other parents started fundraising for the defibrillator last year.

A Santa’s grotto raised just over £500 last Christmas and a bingo night at Stonesfield Sports & Social Club earlier this year also helped them reach their target.

They raised enough to have the defibrillator installed on the pre-school’s outside wall and train 40 people in how to use it, with the session taking place on July 12.

It was led by Drew Kamphuis, managing director of First for Safety, an organisation that runs first aid courses across Oxfordshire.

Mrs Kamphuis has worked for all three emergency services and campaigns for schools to take department of education advice and install defibrillators.

She said: “I truly believe that if more schools in the UK had one then more children could be saved.

“If a defibrillator is used within four minutes the chance of survival is 80 per cent, but it’s just eight per cent without.”

A not-for-profit scheme from NHS Supply Chain allows educational establishments, including nurseries and play groups, to fundraise and purchase a defibrillator for better than half price.

Stonesfield bucks the national trend, with the primary school joining the pre-school in installing a defibrillator.

Mrs Jessiman praised the work done already but insisted this made training extra vital to ensure residents are equipped in an emergency.

She said: “In a panicked situation you might not get it right.

“That’s always the fear and you might not save that life.”