Three Caerphilly County Borough schools have each been presented with a heart defibrillator.
Funding for the life saving machines was raised through Jack’s Appeal – set up in memory of Grant and June’s son Jack Thomas, from Oakdale, who suddenly died two years ago from what was thought to be an arrhythmia, aged just 15. The appeal is being run in conjunction with charity Welsh Hearts.
Lewis School Pengam, Trinity Fields School in Ystrad Mynach and Bedwas High School now have the equipment installed. The defibrillator at Lewis School Pengam was made possible thanks to a donation from Gelligaer Community Council while Bedwas Sixth Form students chose the appeal as part of their own fundraising.
Since their son’s death, Grant and June Thomas have worked with charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) and Welsh Hearts.
Presenting the defibrillator to Trinity Fields, Mr Thomas said: “If there had been a defibrillator there for our son, who knows, he may still be here today. We will never know. Unfortunately these sad incidents happen a lot more than people are led to believe.
“We’ve been fundraising with Welsh Hearts to provide defibrillators for secondary schools in Caerphilly County Borough and Gwent through Jack’s Appeal, and we wanted to support Trinity Fields because of the variety of age groups they have here.
“These defibrillators are simplistic and easy to use, and they could end up saving someone’s life.”