Light Up a Heart Christmas Appeal 2018

Remember a loved one and light up a heart in Wales this Christmas


Christmas is a time when people are thinking of happy times shared with their loved ones. To help celebrate, honour and remember the lives of loved ones no longer with us, we have created our Light up a Heart Christmas Appeal. You can make a donation online which will help Welsh Hearts continue with our work.

Every year in Wales over 8,000 will die prematurely of undiagnosed heart conditions.


I originally started working with Welsh Hearts in the summer of 2015. I’d lost my dad to a sudden cardiac arrest and I was eager to do something positive in his memory. I engaged with the fundraising team at Welsh Hearts and, along with some enthusiastic colleagues championing Admiral’s Ministry of Health, we managed to coordinate a week of fundraising events, raising a few hundred pounds for the charity. At the time the funds were donated, Sharon Owen (Director at Welsh Hearts), got in contact to express her gratitude for the donations and to explain that Henry’s wife, Diane, had also made a contribution to the charity and she would like to offer Admiral a defibrillator to be installed at one of our sites in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

It was during the discussions to try to progress the donation of the defibrillators and create the business case to persuade internal decision-makers at Admiral that we should invest in the equipment across our other UK sites, that I had to take some unexpected absence from work due to poor health. The biggest irony was that several investigations led to the diagnosis of an inherited life-threatening heart condition that required surgery to fit an implantable defibrillator in my chest! This experience resurrected my commitment to do all I could to persuade the business this was a step worth taking in the interests of staff wellbeing. If this could happen to me, an ostensibly fit 39 year old who had run marathons and participated in white collar boxing as recently as 15 months ago, it could happen to anyone! 

I’m so proud Admiral has decided to install the defibrillator units across its UK sites. We all hope we never need to use them, but it is reassuring to know they will be located in our business should an employee ever suffer a cardiac arrest during the working day. The chances of survival shift dramatically in favour of the patient the quicker a defibrillator is used to shock the heart. Every minute counts! There’s no better way to demonstrate you care for your employees than taking a step that could potentially save someone’s life. This is another example of Admiral leading from the front with staff wellbeing, and my hope is that it will encourage other large businesses in Wales and across the UK to do the same!

With your donations this Christmas we can help more people like Leigh and place more defibrillators into communities in Wales.

Since 2013, Welsh Hearts has played a leading role in improving Heart Health in Wales. It is our mission to continue to provide public-access defibrillators throughout Wales, to continue to grow the army of individuals who are fully trained in CPR and defibrillator usage and to lead the campaign for better awareness of cardiovascular health in Wales through events such as our Heart Screening sessions.

Your donation will not only celebrate your loved one’s life but will help us fight Wales’ biggest killer, heart disease. Every single penny we raise stays in wales and will contribute towards providing life saving equipment or skills into communities and schools across Wales.

 £55 donation will allow us to screen someone for underlying heart conditions
 £100 will help buy training equipment
 £500 will help us part fund a defibrillator in your community

Any donation, no matter how big or small will have a huge impact on what we are able to achieve.

Donate in Memory Today

We know anniversaries and special occasions like Christmas are always emotional times, especially if you’ve lost someone you love. Our Light Up a Heart Christmas Appeal will give you a chance to remember a loved one in a special way by lighting up a heart in their honour.

Your gift will not only celebrate a loved one’s life but will help us place more defibrillators in communities throughout Wales, teach free CPR, buy training equipment for our volunteer medics and hold many heart screening sessions which will detect early heart abnormalities in young people!

With your help this Christmas we can help save more lives across Wales!

Every second counts if you are in cardiac arrest. There are 8,000 sudden cardiac arrests outside of hospitals every year in Wales and the survival rate is just three percent, when an AED defibrillator and good effective CPR is carried out the survival rate increases to 50 percent.

Frank Brock is a man who owes his life to a defibrillator!

An 80 year old man whose life was saved by a defibrillator and a bystander passing by during a serious cardiac arrest at Cardiff Central Station. Frank Brock, who lives in Rumney in Cardiff, was picking up a friend at the busy railway station in February 2016 when he suffered a cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating.  

While his friend alerted staff, a bystander found Mr Brock unconscious in the car at the back of the station and was carefully assisted in moving him to the ground to begin CPR and were immediately joined by the staff who brought the station’s defibrillator or AED – a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats cardiac arrest using electrical therapy on the heart to re-establish its rhythm.

A Defibrillator/AED can be used by any member of the public as the machine talks you through the process.  The bystander turned out to be Dr O’Callaghan, a cardiologist who was picking up tickets at the station and jumped out of his car to perform CPR and use the defibrillator to restart Mr Brock’s heart.

Mr Brock hopes that sharing his experience will help to raise awareness of the importance of public defibrillators in schools and communities and encourage more people to donate and support Welsh Hearts, the Welsh charity dedicated to the cause. 

“I have no recollection of that day,” said Mr Brock, who had triple heart bypass surgery when he was 40 years old. “I didn’t feel unwell and it was completely unexpected. I cannot thank the staff at Cardiff Central Station and Dr O’Callaghan enough for everything that they did for me. They were incredible. But, even with their best efforts, I know that without that defibrillator I would have been very unlikely to survive.”

“I thank my lucky stars that I was at the station when it happened. My friend wasn’t due in until 10.30pm that evening but she managed to catch an earlier train that saw her arrive at 8.30pm instead. That’s how I found myself at the station at that time, otherwise I would have been home alone when it happened and I wouldn’t have made it.”

With your help this Christmas you can remember a loved one who has suffered with heart conditions and  donate to a cause that hopes to help communities across Wales by providing defibrillators, offer free CPR sessions and host more heart screening sessions .

From everyone at Welsh Hearts, we wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas.