A NURSERY in Barlanark has raised money for a defibrillator after being inspired by one of its children with a rare heart condition.

Sandaig Nursery School collected £2000 from kind-hearted members of the community, who all took part in a lucky draw for a chance to win £1000.

The remaining half of the money went towards the life-saving machine, which can help nursery kids like Ayla McKay in case of emergency.

Glasgow Times: Ayla McKay, 5, and mum Donna McArthurAyla McKay, 5, and mum Donna McArthur

Glasgow Times: The defibrillator will be installed outside Sandaig NurseryThe defibrillator will be installed outside Sandaig Nursery

The five-year-old has a rare heart condition called partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (PAPVD).

Ayla, who is autistic, has had eight operations so far, including three open-heart surgeries, and needs to get check-ups every six months.

Despite these challenges, she lives a full life and doesn't face any day-to-day struggles.

Catherine Butler, child development officer at the nursery, 38, joked: “She's high maintenance.

"She’s always been dinky for her age but she is so strong-minded, it’s unbelievable.

“Taking her heart condition into consideration, she is one of the most clever wee girls. Academically, she’s flying.

“It’s more socially she’s got barriers to her learning, and that’s through her autism. But she’s doing really good."

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Glasgow Times: Caitlin Devlin, Donna McArthur, Ayla McKay, Catherine ButlerCaitlin Devlin, Donna McArthur, Ayla McKay, Catherine Butler

Glasgow Times: Ayla is turning six in JulyAyla is turning six in July

Ayla's mother, Donna McArthur, 39, said: “Ayla knows she goes to hospital for stuff, but she doesn’t know that she’s got anything wrong with her. She probably thinks that’s a normal thing.

“She knows she has scars as well and she’ll show them and say ‘I’m brave’, but she doesn’t know what her illness is.

“She does well when she’s in hospital. She copes with it but the older she is the more difficult it gets."

The machine will be available for not just the nursery children and staff but residents as well.

Ms McArthur added: “It’s something for the community, not just for Ayla because we have not been told she needs anything like that.

“It just makes us feel better, knowing that it is there and everybody can use it."

The defibrillator, which can be used on both children and adults, is soon to be installed.

Ms Butler said: “We’re going to have it installed on the outside of the building, so that it will be accessible for anybody in the community.

"It will be registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service, so if someone was to need it and they phoned 999, they would be able to say to come here.

“Obviously, that will only be while we are open because we have a gate around our premises but they will be aware of that."

The cause is also supported by Ayla's father, Peter McKay, 44, and his colleagues, at Credit Fix, who also raised money toward the defibrillator.

Thanks to their fundraising effort, the family is hoping to pay for a second machine, which will be placed at the youngster's future primary school, which is not confirmed yet. 

Glasgow Times: Ayla and mum DonnaAyla and mum Donna

Glasgow Times: The 23-mile walk, completed last weekThe 23-mile walk, completed last week

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Ms Butler and fellow Sandaig Nursery staff member Caitlin Devlin, 25, who, alongside Ayla's mum and two of her colleagues, completed a 23-mile walk last week to raise money via sponsor sheets.

In total, the sum raised so far is around £6000, which will comfortably pay for the machines.

Any remaining money will be donated to Glasgow Children's Hospital's Cardiac Ward, which has been taking care of Ayla since she was born.

Ms McArthur said: "The support has been overwhelming.

"The amount of people that come together and just help you with something like this, not even just family and close friends, we are really proud to have people like this around us."

Ms Butler added: "Ayla has ben part of my group since the moments she walked through the nursery doors, she is like a second child to me.

"I am actually dreading her leaving the nursery, she has just been a big part of my life.

"We are happy to do anything that can help her and any other child in her situation."