THE Argus campaign to install a defibrillator in every Gwent school celebrated another success yesterday [Monday 7] after Lewis School in Pengam became the latest to receive the life-saving device.
The pupils at the school will now have emergency access to the heart defibrillator, which can save lives following cardiac arrests, thanks to a donation from the Gelligaer community council.
The Jack's Appeal campaign was launched when the Argus teamed up with the family of Oakdale teenager Jack Thomas, who died suddenly from an underlying heart condition in 2012 aged just 15.
Headteacher Chris Parry thanked Gelligaer community council for their donation which meant the £1,000 defibrillator could be installed.
The machine, which will be kept in the school’s medical office, was presented to the school yesterday morning by the chairwoman of Gelligaer community council, Judith Pritchard, and charity Welsh Hearts.
Mr Parry said: “We are really grateful to the community council and their donation which made it all possible.”
Jack’s mum, June Thomas spoke to the pupils and shared her personal story behind the campaign.
Mr Parry said charity Welsh Hearts will provide training for up to 350 pupils and staff in September.
He said: “The training is a really exciting opportunity for the pupils. We have around 1,000 pupils so are trying to work out how best to allocate the training places.
“My priority is to keep pupils safe and we are really grateful to the community council and the Argus for making the school a safer environment.”
Daniel Davies, who will take up the role of head student in September, said: “Students are extremely grateful to the community council for the funding that allowed us to work with Jack’s Appeal and Welsh Hearts to secure a defibrillator.”
“I’m very much looking forward to the training in September.”