A Whittlesea mother is on a mission to save local lives after the sudden cardiac arrest and tragic death of her four-year-old son. Kim Ferguson has successfully campaigned for six defibrillators to be introduced to the township, including at the Whittlesea Primary School and Whittlesea Tennis Club.
Four years ago her son Benny went into sudden cardiac arrest and died before an ambulance arrived.
"There was no warning," Ms Ferguson said.
"One minute he was sitting up talking to me when he woke from his sleep. When I went back a couple of minutes later I found him unconscious in his room."
The Fergusons discovered he suffered Long QT syndrome, a genetic condition caused by a fault in the electrical system of the heart, which can lead to sudden death. Ms Ferguson has the syndrome, her eldest son Zack has an implant monitoring his heart and his siblings Luke (5) and Angel (2) are tested every three months.
She said each year 33,000 Australians suffered a cardiac arrest, but that survival rates jump from 5 to 70 per cent when a defibrillator was available. After successfully campaigning for the equipment at Whittlesea Primary School and Whittlesea Football Club, Ms Ferguson approached Rotary, Lions and bowls clubs to help fund defibrillators for sports clubs and wants defibrillators to be mandatory at all schools.
"If Benny's memory can live on saving other peoples lives, that makes me smile," Ms Ferguson said. "It is because of Benny that this community will now be a safer place."