Tragedy of Oakdale boy who died during rugby game
7:20am Thursday 2nd August 2012 in Campaign news
THE parents of a popular Gwent teenager may never really know why their son died.
June and Grant Thomas, from Oakdale, say they are devastated that nothing was found to explain why their 15-year-old son Jack died on February 12 last year.
An inquest at Gwent Coroner's Court, sitting in Newport yesterday ruled that the teenager died of natural causes but the specific cause of death could not be identified.
The inquest heard how Jack had walked three miles from home to his girlfriend Emily's house in Newbridge that day to watch Wales play Scotland in the Six Nations with her and her family.
Her father Richard Brown said that at half-time Emily took photos of Jack smiling and pulling faces but then realised something was wrong.
He said Jack was sat upright, tipped his cup of tea over his trousers and made a couple of light groans.
Mr Brown carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the ambulance arrived.
He said the 15-year-old had only been at his home for around 40 minutes and had not complained of feeling unwell.
Pathologist Dr Edward Williams said a post mortem found no signs of any injury and no significant abnormalities in the heart and that the arteries were normal.
He said the most likely cause was cardiac arrhythmia which is where the heart beats out of control but leaves no trace that can be seen on a post mortem.
Coroner David Bowen said Jack had not been in an accident and that there was no drugs or alcohol in his bloodstream.
He told the teenager's parents: "This may not provide you with the clear cut answer that you're looking for but whatever it was, it was wholly natural in origin."
He added: "Jack would have known nothing at all. There would have been no warnings."
JUNE and Grant Thomas paid tribute to their son yesterday calling him a "very happy, intelligent, fun-loving young man."
Mrs Thomas said he was interested in sport from a young age and was particularly successful in taekwondo.
He also continued to do well at Oakdale Comprehensive School.
Mrs Thomas said: "He's missed by us all. Obviously none of us will ever forget him, he'll be in our hearts forever."
She said Jack and brother Owain, 13, were very close and that Jack was his hero.
Mrs Thomas thanked family, friends and the community for their support and the emergency services, the Royal Gwent Hospital and police liaison officers.
She said they now want to keep Jack's memory alive and are raising money for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young.
Mrs Thomas said it costs around £3,500 to heart screen just 100 people and wants to raise enough to screen at least 400 people in the Valleys.
For more information, see c-r-y.org.uk