THE LEGACY of a St Mary’s Park teenager - who died from a violent asthma attack in 2005 - lives on through the generosity of his family, who are raising funds for a defibrillator for St Gabriel’s School in Dooradoyle.
The school for special needs children will be the seventh local group to benefit from the life-saving equipment thanks to Anne Boland, mother of the late David.
“One of my cousins has a child with special needs and people in Limerick would know of the great work that is done in St Gabriel’s. I was asked would I consider donating a defibrillator to them and I was just glad to be able to help,” said Anne following a successful fundraiser at the Gate Bar on Locke Quay on Thursday.
David, the only child of Anne and Michael Boland, was just 14 years old when he lost his life to a condition he had lived with from the age of three.
He was in the car with his mum when he started to feel ill and asked for his inhaler and a drink of water. Anne stopped in at her sister’s house where David’s condition worsened and he doubled over in pain.
“What I didn’t know at the time was that was his organs shutting down. He had never seemed like a bad asthmatic but the doctors said it was a severe acute massive asthma attack,” said Anne.
Such a tragedy might finish many families but Anne Boland set to work raising funds for the resuscitation equipment which she said not only helped asthmatics but also people who suffer cardiac failure playing sports.
The high-profile case of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a heart attack on the pitch at White Hart Lane last year, has raised awareness of the benefits of having a defibrillator at the ready.
Since David’s death, Anne has raised funds to provide the equipment to his former school St Mary’s Boys, Northside Youthreach, Star Rovers, St Mary’s RFC, Thomond RFC and St Patrick’s Boys School. St Gabriel’s will soon make it a magnificent seven for Anne Boland.
“I’ve never had any feedback from the clubs that they have ever had to use one thank God and I suppose I’d have heard if they ever did. But I do know that they take them to matches with them so they are ready if they ever needed to use them. It’s a brilliant piece of machinery and can save a life,” said Anne.
A defibrillator can cost up to €2,000 depending on the specification but St Gabriel’s School is just a couple of hundred euro short of having one of their own thanks to those who made donations at The Gate on Thursday. A smaller fundraiser may take place in the coming weeks to reach the grand total but Anne said that in the meantime people were welcome to make a donation at the Gate Bar, which has a bucket on the premises.