Belfast Telegraph

Defibrillator fundraiser launched following tragic death of schoolgirl Isobel Anderson

By Claire Williamson

A fundraising effort has begun to purchase life-saving equipment for two primary schools following the tragic death of a 10-year-old girl last week.

Isobel Anderson became unwell at Dromore Central Primary School last Tuesday afternoon.

She passed away the following day in hospital despite a rapid response by teachers and medical staff.

Following her tragic death the local community have come together in a bid to raise funds to purchase a defibrillator for Dromore Central Primary School and St Coleman's Primary School.

The money raised will buy the life-saving equipment and training for those in a position to use them.

SuperValu on the Banbridge Road will have buckets to collect cash donations from Tuesday September 25. Or alternatively you can donate via the JustGiving page that has been set up.

Speaking to Q Radio, her father Tom said it was not yet clear what had caused the tragedy and that further tests are being carried out to protect Isobel's three younger sisters.

He said: "We don't know what happened. For the sake of the 3 girls, Isobel had to have a post-mortem, which devastated us at the time. Because with Isobel's giving nature we hoped that organ retrieval could have brought something to help some other people, it would have been in her nature to want to do that.

"But unfortunately and it was the right decision, but the Coroner had to hold on to her heart, he could find nothing wrong with it in the Royal and it's gone for further tests in London to protect my other children in case there's a congenital problem there. "

Hundreds gathered for the youngster's funeral at the weekend in Dromore Cathedral.

Her father Tom paid a moving tribute to his eldest daughter, calling her full of "fun, mischief and love".

He described Isobel as "a mother hen" to her three sisters Mary, Tess and Kate, and a great help to her mum Heidi.

"I want to single out our extreme gratitude to the staff that worked with wee Isobel in the playground that awful afternoon, the paramedics who came and got her as quickly as they could, and the doctors and nurses at the Royal Victoria Hospital," said Mr Anderson.

"That care from the start and the remarkable fight that my wee Isobel put up gave us an opportunity which I am so grateful for, the opportunity to say goodbye to Isobel."

Mr Anderson said his daughter brought joy to the family from the very start.

"Those big sparkling eyes stood out straight away," he said.

"They were full of fun, mischief and love.

"She had a smile that could light up a room on the darkest of days, and she's lighting up Dromore this afternoon."

The arrival of her three younger sisters, he told mourners, had been "perfect" for Isobel.

"She would mother them and occasionally boss them around, but she was our wee mother hen," he added.

Praising the school staff, he said their description of his daughter as "like a breath of fresh air" was a great comfort.

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