Charity buys 23 defibrillators in fight against the coronavirus after plea for life-saving machines

A northeast charity has bought 23 life-saving defibrillators in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunderland Council appealed to local sports clubs and centre to donate currently unused defibrillators which can be donated to South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust during the pandemic.

Help came from local charity Red Sky Ball which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

The charity was set up in 2016 by Sergio and Emma Petrucci whose daughter Luna was treated at Freeman Hospital and host a range of annual, sell-out events which raises funds to buy vital medical equipment.

One of those events was this year’s gala dinner at the Beacon of Light which was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak- but the couple has used some of the funds raised from ticket sales towards buying defibrillators.

They have so far bought a further 23 defibrillators at a cost of more than £20,000 which it is going to loan to the Trust for them to be given back and handed out to high streets across the region once the coronavirus crisis is over.

Sergio Petrucci, founder of Red Sky Ball, said: “After hearing about the heartfelt plea in preparation for the times ahead, I felt it was appropriate that some of the funds raised from ticket sales for our recently postponed gala dinner could be best used to help our local NHS by purchasing the life-saving cardio equipment.

“Our objectives are to fund and support babies, children and now adults needing cardio care across the region. It is only right and correct that these essential medical kits are on their way to the hospitals across the Sunderland & South Tyneside NHS Trust to help in the battle against Covid-19.

“We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of our corporate partners and guests and while we have understandably had to postpone this year’s sold out event, we will be back to celebrate once the current crisis is over.”

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