Defibrillator donated in memory of 18-year-old

Date: 13 October 2017

Time: 12:30

Andrew Barlow, Paul Pottle, and Karen Winter at Drayton Community Infant School.

A lifesaving device has been donated to a Norfolk school in memory of a former student.

Paul Pottle and his family raised money for the new defibrillator at Drayton Community Infant School following the sudden death of his son earlier in the year.

Eighteen-year-old Thomas Pottle, an apprentice at Ben Burgess in Norwich, collapsed whilst at work in January and went into cardiac arrest. Despite the best efforts of ambulance, air ambulance, and hospital staff, he sadly passed away.

On Tuesday (10th October) Paul and Andrew Barlow, Norfolk Community Collaboration Manager for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), attended an assembly at the infant school to talk about the defibrillator donation.

Paul said that there were also plans for a community public accessible defibrillator to be installed outside the Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich. He added that all of Thomas’ former schools already had defibrillators.

“We did not know anything about defibrillators until this happened and we were thrown into this world. They are becoming more and more prominent, but we need to make people more aware.

“It has given us something to focus on and it has been painful at times, but we wanted to give something back for the children and for the community. If it is used once and saves a life, then it has done its job.”

A defibrillator is used to shock a heart into restarting when a patient collapses and goes into cardiac arrest. The ambulance service will be returning to Drayton Community Infant School to train staff on how to use the lifesaving device.

Andrew added: “Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of a defibrillator dramatically increase the chances of survival of a patient in cardiac arrest. I’d like to praise Paul for fundraising for these lifesaving devices.”

For more information about defibrillators, visit

  • Summary:

    A lifesaving device has been donated to a Norfolk school in memory of a former student.