CWMCARN High became the latest school to receive a defibrillator donated as part of our drive to put life saving kits in every secondary school in Gwent.
Hundreds of pupils listened intently yesterday as their school was presented with the machine, which can resuscitate cardiac arrest patients.
Seven schools in Gwent have so far received the heart defibrillators as part of the Argus campaign known as Jack’s Appeal, run in conjunction with charity Welsh Hearts.
The appeal was launched in memory of Oakdale taekwondo star Jack Thomas who died suddenly from a suspected heart condition aged 15 in 2012.
Jack’s father, Grant Thomas, told the pupils: “We hope it never has to be used but we are safe in the knowledge it will be on sight at all times.”
His mum June Thomas said: “The appeal has snowballed. When we go around talking to people they come on board with us.”
Head teacher Jacqui Peplinski said: “This is a very, very sad story but very inspiring.
“It is a brave thing the parents have done this morning to talk about their circumstances.”
The machines cost around £1,000.
British Army communications contractor, General Dynamics UK Ltd, made a donation, which allowed the school to receive the defibrillator.
External affairs manager Dale Stolzenberg, 27, said: “We received a letter from Welsh Hearts and June and Grant.
“We thought it was definitely something we have to support.
“We are delighted to make the donation to make it happen.”
Year 10 pupil Alex Cisuelo, 15, said: “It’s a good thing to have.”
Fellow student Katherine Beasley, 15, said: “It’s a good thing to do. It can make a difference.”
l There is now an easier way for Argus readers to donate by going online to welshhearts.org/jacksappeal.
Otherwise, people can donate by sending cheques payable to Welsh Hearts, to Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA. Put reference “Jack Thomas defibs appeal” on the back of the envelope.