NEWPORT County AFC are the latest to throw their support behind our campaign to get heart defibrillators placed in secondary schools across Gwent.
Last year the club installed a heart defibrillator at Llanwern High School, which hosts Newport County’s youth academy, courtesy of another charity which supports our campaign - Welsh Hearts.
The club also intends to install another heart defibrillator at Rodney Parade in a joint venture alongside the Newport Gwent Dragons later this season.
The Argus has teamed up with Jack Thomas’ parents in a campaign to raise awareness of underlying heart conditions following the sudden death of the 15-year-old in February 2012.
Jack, who represented Wales in taekwondo and had no previous health issues, was watching a rugby match at his girlfriend’s house in Newbridge when he suddenly began feeling unwell.
Jack’s funeral, held on March 16, 2012, took place a day prior to when Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch at White Hart Lane but survived due to urgent medical care.
June Thomas, Jack’s mother, said the medical attention available to Muamba immediately after the incident was a major factor in him surviving the incident – something she wishes to see replicated in secondary schools.
Now, County is supporting the campaign and hopes to raise funds at a future home match this season for further distribution of heart defibrillators.
A spokesman for Newport County said: “Newport County AFC is delighted to support the campaign. As a sporting organisation we recognise the need for defibrillators at all our events.
“The recent tragedy of keen sportsman Jack Thomas from Oakdale highlights the need for defibrillators wherever possible. The courage and bravery shown by Jack’s family and friends is truly inspiring and Newport County AFC fully support the campaign set up in memory of Jack by his parents to install defibrillators in all secondary schools throughout Gwent.
“Knowing that the money raised will be used within Wales is of great comfort. Welsh Hearts have been fantastic in supporting our academy, and Newport County AFC will be reciprocating the kindness shown from Welsh Hearts by presenting a cheque to the charity for a defibrillator already provided to the club.”