L-R: HMRI Senior Philanthropy Manager Rebekah Wilson, HMRI Institute Director Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin, Dr Mark Miller, Jeremy Pallas, Siobhan Lavin Murphy, Professor Brendan Boyle and Tamara Bond.
The legacy of Jack Murphy will live on with a new training program that will enable students, athletes and workers of the Hunter free access to learning a new cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) technique that is less complicated, easier to recall, and just as effective as traditional CPR techniques.
Jack Murphy was only 14 years old when he sadly passed away of sudden cardiac death in 2018. A fit, healthy and admired young scooter star, Jack’s death was unexpected, and his family are determined to not let other families experience the same heartache they have.
Following Jack’s death, his mother, Irish-born Siobhan Lavin Murphy, together with Tamara Bond and Associate Professor Brendan Boyle, established the Jack Murphy Memorial Society in 2019. It aims to bring the Hunter’s Irish community together to host events to raise funds and awareness to fight sudden cardiac death.
Various fundraising events over 2021 and 2022, culminating with the recent Jack Murphy Memorial Society Diner Dance held on Saturday 11 June, have enabled the Society to raise over $80,000 for medical research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), more than double their original goal.
The funds raised will go towards expanding the Hunter Heart Safe CPR program. This program teaches a hands-only CPR technique backed by evidence-based research which has investigated the most effective way to improve the rate of bystander rescue in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Hunter Heart Safe was established by retrieval medicine experts Dr Mark Miller and paramedic Jeremy Pallas after their experience with attending to incidents like cardiac arrests and finding that bystanders had not commenced CPR, simply because they did not know how.
With early CPR improving the chance of a positive outcome for a patient in 90% of cases, knowledge is key to saving a life. Hunter Heart Safe teaches hands-only, chest-compression CPR which has proven to be as effective at saving lives in cardiac arrest as traditional CPR with rescue breathing.
A bystander is more likely to initiate CPR if they don’t feel obliged to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing. When used with an automatic external defibrillator (AED), the patient’s chance of survival is five times greater than if onlookers wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts from the Jack Murphy Memorial Society, the team at Hunter Heart Safe will now have the resources to roll the program out more widely to schools, workplaces and sporting clubs throughout the Hunter. The funds raised will also support research into testing memory and recall of the technique, conducted by HMRI and University of Newcastle Population Health researcher Professor Luke Wolfenden, to ensure the technique is taught in a way that will help people remember.
Congratulations and thank you to the Jack Murphy Memorial Society and all of their supporters on raising this phenomenal amount of funds.
L-R: Dr Mark Miller and Jeremy Pallas from Hunter Heart Safe