Austin fast closing in on double defib target

Austin Brennand was joined by family and friends for the 10k cycle ride
Austin Brennand was joined by family and friends for the 10k cycle ride
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A caring five-year-old got on his bike to move closer to a cash target to fund two defibrillators for his home village.

Austin Brennand was joined by family and friends for a sponsored 10k cycle ride along the coast which took his Just Giving appeal for two of the life-saving machines for Ansdell to within just a few hundred pounds off the £3,000 aim.

Austin with dad Oliver, mum Katey and sister Phoebe

Austin with dad Oliver, mum Katey and sister Phoebe

His mum Katey, who accompanied Austin on the ride along with his dad Oliver and sister Phoebe, his best friends from Ansdell Primary School, Isaac Wallwork, James Roberts and Joseph Wellings and Martin Cottam from Lytham Round Table, said: "It was a fantastic day - no complaints, just sheer determination and encouragement for one another to finish.

"The boys joked they have their eyes set on completing 20k next time - although I think they might need bigger wheels.

"The support for Austin's efforts has been amazing and this was another example of that. He is so grateful for everyone's backing."

Austin was born with a rare condition which meant that at just three months old, he needed vital surgery to correct four abnormalities with his heart.

Austin on his bike

Austin on his bike

For his Christening, his parents invited family and friends to donate money rather than gifts so they could buy a defibrillator on his behalf and donate it to Park View 4U playing fields in Lytham.

When Austin heard that machine had saved three lives, he suggested raising money for a defibrillator for Ansdell, where the family lives, and set an initial target of £1,500.

That was quickly passed and Ansdell's first defibrillator is now on order with the aim of it being sited in the village's Institute.

The target was quickly doubled with the aim of funding a second machine.

Katey added: "it was incredible to watch all the donations come in so quickly.

"We’ve had so many people come up to us to say thank you and well done and we've also had a great response from people looking to help fund raise too.

He was genuinely worried people wouldn’t donate and I think we both thought it would take us all summer to raise so much.

“Austin is so grateful to all the doctors and people who helped fixed his heart, without whom, he simply would not be here today.

“He understands they saved his life and he just wants to give something back to his community and ensure everyone has the chance to lead a happy and full life.”

Ansdell councillor Richard Redcliffe, who is deputy mayor of Fylde, said of Austin's efforts: "It shows young people are not only concerned about local issues but are prepared to do something about it as well. Well done to Austin.”

Suzanne Thomas. headteacher at Ansdell Primary, said: “Austin is an incredible little boy and we’re so proud of him.”

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