A PUPIL has been honoured for his amazing work raising awareness and funds for lifesaving heart research.

Inspirational Jacob Marsh, 12, from Llantwit Major, has been honoured at a glittering ceremony in London which recognised his impact to heart research.

Jacob was among those selected to represent Young Heart Heroes from all over the UK at the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards, hosted by Vernon Kay, and attended by stars including David Ginola and Roger Black. 

Jacob, who despite suffering from a rare heart condition, raised nearly £800 for the BHF, said the evening was something he will never forget.

“It was a great experience and I’d like to thank everyone who nominated me and supported me along the way,” said Jacob.

Jacob’s incredible story began early on when he was born with a hole in his heart and a coarctation of the aorta.

He had his coarctation repair at 11 weeks old and a scan revealed he also had a bicuspid valve, which is now being monitored.

Despite this, Jacob ran 50km in February 2021 to raise money for BHF while he was shielding from Covid-19 and couldn’t return to school the same time as his friends.  

Dad Wayne said Jacob recognises the role BHF played in his early treatment and ultimately his survival.

“As a family we’re proud that he made a conscious decision with his heart to raise money to help others like he was helped,” said Wayne.

“Jacob battled through snow and hail to complete his challenge, taking on a 5km run nearly every other day for a month.”

Barry And District News: Jacob (centre) overcame life-threatening heart disease and raised money for the British Heart Foundation in the process Jacob (centre) overcame life-threatening heart disease and raised money for the British Heart Foundation in the process (Image: BHF)

The annual awards ceremony returned for a fifth year on Thursday December 1.

The event celebrates incredible young people who’ve shown remarkable bravery and gone above and beyond to help others while coping with the devastating impact of heart disease, as well as CPR lifesavers, innovative fundraisers, corporate partners, research champions and healthcare heroes working in the NHS.

Head of BHF Cymru, Rhodri Thomas said the Heart Hero Awards are such a special way to celebrate and give thanks to our BHF supporters who have shown courage, resilience, compassion and bravery.

“A huge thank you and congratulations to all the nominees and winners, judges, and presenters, for making the Heart Hero Awards the unique and heart-warming event that it is,” said Rhodri.

Barry And District News: Hosted by Vernon Kay, Jacob said the evening was overwhelmingHosted by Vernon Kay, Jacob said the evening was overwhelming (Image: BHF)

Jacob’s dad Wayne finished by saying he was hugely proud of what his son had achieved.

“As a family we are incredibly proud and to be a part of the awards ceremony was a huge honour for us all,” added Wayne.

“To hear first-hand some of the stories and to see the work that goes into research and fundraising for the BHF was both humbling and inspiring.”