Munster Express – Town Lands
Friday, 16 December 2011
Piltown National School has just received a new defibrillator, presented to principal Mark Connolly by Bridget Ann Whelan of ‘Becky’s Beat’, the charity she founded in memory of her daughter who died in June 2010.
To date, Bridget Ann has donated this precious piece of life-saving equipment to eight school, community and sporting groups throughout Waterford, South Tipperary and south Kilkenny.
In each instance, funds raised locally through a number of fundraising activities have been utilised to provide this essential piece of kii for eight grateful communities.
In the case of Piltown NS, parents took part in a sponsored charity cycle while in other schools old mobile phones have been collected to assist in the effort.
However many local schools still need assistance in acquiring these devices.
“These vital lifesaving pieces of equipment must be made available anywhere where you have a sizeable number of people”, said Bridget Ann.
“Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, of any age, gender or level of fitness. It could happen to any of us – children, adolescents and young adults are not immune.”
Becky’s tragic death at the age of seven triggered Bridget Ann to found the charity and kick off a concerted campaign to heighten awareness of the need to provide defibrillators in local facilities throughout the region.
“These vital lifesaving pieces of equipment must be made available anywhere where you have a sizeable number of people.”
“Becky loved fashion”, her proud mother recalled.
“She loved her skinny jeans, her red coat, her countless scarves, bags and her old mobile phone! Like many seven year old girls she fancied herself as a pop star, singing her heart out at home – the kitchen was her stage.
“She loved playing with her sisters, cousins and school friends – playing school, ‘mammies and babies’ and much more. She was a very normal seven year old; fun loving and full of life. And, just like all the rest of us she had her moments!
“On Wednesday, June 2nd 2010, Becky headed off, with great excitement, on the bus with her classmates on her school trip”.
“Suddenly and without any warning, Becky, sadly passed away that day, while taking part in the final activity of the day. Three weeks previously, she had celebrated her seventh birthday”.
What Bridget Ann has done since Becky’s passing has been nothing short of inspirational. That the greatest loss a mother can experience has led her to do all she can to ensure other parents do not share her pain is both courageous and uplifting.
That communities across the south east are benefiting from her endeavour offers a reminder that just one person really can make a difference.
Take a bow Bridget Ann.
Should you wish to lend your support to a cause that represents outstanding public service in the heart of local communities please visit www.beckysbeat.ie.