Back

Busy Bees Rugby installs life-saving defibrillator in memory of teen

Published: 13 July

Curved shape
Busy Bees

Busy Bees in Rugby has had a defibrillator installed outside its building in memory of a much-loved Rugby college student who died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Busy Bees nursery in Rugby, where Jamie Rees had spent his childhood days, has donated the publicly accessible equipment to support Jamie’s parents’ campaign to ensure at least 20 defibrillators are installed in the local area by the end of the year. 

The nursery unveiled the equipment and a plaque in Jamie’s name on Friday 1 July. The nursery children also drew some pictures for the family of Jamie’s favourite football team.

Naomi and Gavin, parents of Jamie, said: “Jamie had some of his happiest memories at Busy Bees and it has always remained close to our hearts. We are so thankful to Busy Bees and their donation which brings us one step closer to reaching our goal. The nursery is within reaching distance of many schools and shopping areas and it could go on to save many lives so no family has to go through what we went through.”

Jamie Rees had just turned 18 when he died, after suffering a cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day, his best friend’s mum rang 999 immediately. But as he lived in Rugby, Warks, which had its ambulance station taken away in September 2021, it was dispatched from Coventry which was 15 minutes away. The paramedics arrived 17 minutes after a call was made, despite the category one response time being eight minutes.

Deena Billings, Quality Director at Busy Bees, said: “It was an honour to be able to support Jamie’s family with this donation. 16 years ago, I was the manager at this nursery and we cared for Jamie. He was a caring, funny, and loving little boy who would still be with us today if there had been a defibrillator close by. Every Busy Bees nursery in the UK is within minutes of an AED - we see it as part of our commitment to best practice and to deliver outstanding care to all our children, as well as protecting staff, parents and visitors.”

Naomi is also fighting to reopen the A&E department in Rugby which could have saved her son’s life. On Sunday 17 July, she will be walking 17.3km (1km for each minute they waited for an ambulance), ending at Rugby College where Jamie had spent many years.

To find out more and support Jamie’s family, please visit:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ourjay