Around this time last year it was a pretty busy time what with the Microsoft MVP Summit and the BizTalk Summit in the same week and at the same time I was developing the RabbitMQ courses for Pluralsight. This week last year was also the first time we learned about some health problems which my son has dealt with amazingly over the last year too.

During the last year I have also learned a lot about cardiac health issues and also experienced a lot about how children deal with illness (and how much better they are at it than adults). One of the things I have learned this year is how lucky we were in the way we identified AJ’s health problems but how many other people are not so lucky. As an example did you know that every week in the UK 15 children die from sudden cardiac arrest. Yea I know crazy isnt it.

During this year I have also connected with a small charity called North East Hearts with Goals who are run by people I used to go to school with and had the aim to put a life saving defibrillator in every school in our local area. Im not a huge believer in fate but it was just too much of a coincidence so I offered to sponsor the defibrillator that would be placed in AJ’s school and training in how to use it. I did my research and checked out what automated external defibrillators did and how much they cost on this website here, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. For a number of months now I have been putting aside some of the course royalties that my RabbitMQ courses have been earning from Pluralsight to use for this purpose. All in all, I have just donated ?1000 towards this great cause which will cover the Defrib and training for AJ’s school and there should be a little left over to contribute to the bigger pot for all schools. A lot of school should really consider getting a defibrillator as they can really help in certain situations. They don’t even need to get a really expensive one, instead, they could get something like this refurbished AEDs.

The girls at the charity have done a fantastic job working with the local council to organise fund raising and AJ’s school themselves raised another ?900+ towards the overall project. The net result of this is that I believe the total target was hit and over the coming weeks 45+ schools in the North Tyneside area will be fitted with defibrillators.

Ive had a lot of support from many friends in the IT community this year and this was my way of saying thanks


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