DEVOTED relatives and colleagues of a “wonderful” head teacher who died suddenly just two days before Christmas have installed a defibrillator in her memory.
Carole Johnson, head at Aughton Early Years Centre, died at home on December 23, aged 56.
She had been due to put together plans to fundraise for a defibrillator that could be used by the whole community.
Following her death, a huge fundraising campaign was launched in her memory and heart-starting equipment has been unveiled.
Carole’s husband Neil (59) said: “We are just so pleased that we have been able to purchase this life-saving equipment.
“These things need to be made more readily available - they save lives.”
Mrs Johnson worked at Aughton for 28 years and had been head teacher for three.
Her family have now set up a charity in her memory - Carole’s Aughton Journey (CAJ) - to help support children and families within the centre’s “reach area”.
Mr Johnson added: “We just want to keep Carole’s memory alive.
“She absolutely loved Aughton Early Years Centre.
“She enjoyed the people she worked with and she always used to describe them as her other family.”
Mr Johnson said relatives now hoped to set up events in her memory to raise money which families could use to improve the lives of children in Aston, Aughton, Brinsworth, Swallownest, Treeton, Woodhouse Mill, Catcliffe and Thurcroft.
He said: “Helping children is just something Carole believed in and it’s our way of saying thanks to the community who gave us fantastic support at a very sad time for us.
“The incredible generosity from these people is what has allowed us to buy this life-saving equipment.”
Mr Johnson said son Matthew and twin-daughters Danielle and Samantha had also been involved with the fundraising.
Gail Napper, the centre’s acting deputy head teacher, worked with Mrs Johnson throughout her time at Aughton.
She said: “Carole was absolutely wonderful to work with.
“She was one of those people that was always so positive about whatever we were facing.
“Because we worked together for so long, we shared a lot of personal things in our lives as well.”
Acting head teacher Andrea Smith said the campaign had already raised £5,000 since Christmas.
“Carole was extremely committed and utterly dedicated to doing what’s right for young children,” she said.