Three schools get defibs thanks to Jack's Appeal

INSPIRATION: Oakdale teenager Jack Thomas who died after suspected heart failure

INSPIRATION: Oakdale teenager Jack Thomas who died after suspected heart failure

First published in Campaign news
Last updated

THREE schools are to receive a heart defibrillator thanks to money raised through Jack’s Appeal.

Money raised from the Argus-led campaign to get heart defibrillators into every secondary school in Gwent and the Rhymney Valley currently stands at £3,186, with each defibrillator costing around £1,000.

In the coming weeks, Newbridge School, Newport High School, and Trinity Fields School and Resource Centre in Ystrad Mynach, will all be provided with defibrillators by Welsh Hearts charity, who are supporting our campaign.

Both Newbridge School and Trinity Fields will be given defibrillators with money raised from the appeal, while Newport High will use money donated to them by a local community fund.

On February 12, 2012, 15-year-old Taekwondo star Jack Thomas, from Oakdale, died suddenly of a suspected heart problem while at his girlfriend’s house in Newbridge.

Jack, who stood at a towering 6ft 3in, had no previous health issues and was competing towards the European Championships at the time of his tragic death.

The Argus has since teamed up with his parents, Grant and June Thomas, to ensure every secondary school in the area is fitted with the potentially life-saving machine.

Mrs Thomas said: “Schools are now getting their defibrillators. The main thing is that it shows how important these defibrillators are because we have all been pushing for it.

“It’s got everyone thinking about it, and it’s great that schools like Risca [Community Comprehensive School] are getting out there and buying their own.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s money raised from Jack’s Appeal, or schools are going to get their own defibrillators, the message is getting out there. These schools are purchasing their own because of Jack’s Appeal. As a family we are chuffed, and amazed with the support.”

Once a school has been provided with a defibrillator, training will then be provided through Welsh Hearts, who have already arranged sessions in the Gwent area on how to use the machines.

* Tickets for the The King and Queen of Hearts Summer Ball (for Jack’s Appeal) are £45 each, which includes a sparkling drinks reception, a three-course dinner and entertainment. It will be held at the Hilton Newport Hotel on Chepstow Road, Langstone, NP18 2LX, on June 7, 2014. People are being encouraged to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. To book tickets to the Summer Ball contact Welsh Hearts Fundraising Office on 02920 786521 or email fundraising@welshhearts.org

To make a simple donation to Jack’s Appeal, or donate the proceeds of a fundraising event, send cheques made payable to Welsh Hearts charity, either to its headquarters at Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA, or to Newsdesk, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN. Please write ‘Jack Thomas defibs appeal’ on the back of the envelope.

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