Joshua Caruso Foundation makes a life-saving donation to schools

The Joshua Caruso Foundation made a potentially life-saving donation to the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) recently, when it donated an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) package for use at diocesan-wide events so that Education Officers can be prepared in the unfortunate event that one day, somebody may need resuscitation.

The Joshua Caruso Foundation was set up in 2014 after the sudden death of Josh in 2013 from an undiagnosed congenital heart condition (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM). HCM, which leads to a thickening of the heart muscle, is the most common form of genetic heart disease and affects 1 in every 500 Australians.

It can affect seemingly healthy athletes, a teenager with no prior health conditions, and any person in their usual daily routine.

The Foundation donated the AED because one of its aims is to reduce the often preventable loss of lives. The organisation aims to raise funds and provide AEDs to organisations such as the CSO, so that they’re available and applied within minutes of someone collapsing and for people to be confident in their use and more willing to perform CPR.

Work Health Safety Projects Manager for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Ray Moos, said he was very grateful to accept the donation on behalf of the Catholic Schools Office.

"Thanks to the Caruso Foundation, particularly Joe and Belinda, for the provision of the ZOLL AED Plus defibrillator Package for use by Catholic schools.

“The Catholic Schools Office team will mainly use the AED for sports activities organised by our Education Officers. Some of them might happen at the office but most use is expected offsite. It will be housed in the CSO offices and be available for onsite emergencies when not deployed.

“Thanks too for the very lively and informative training session on Saturday at Wallsend which I attended when I collected the equipment on behalf of CSO."

The goal of the Foundation is to raise awareness and prevention of congenital heart conditions.

According to the Foundation, to survive a cardiac arrest, a patient must receive CPR or defibrillation within the first 10 minutes.”

“If it is delivered quickly, up to 75 per cent of patients can survive. Yet only 2 per cent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest in public are treated with a defibrillator by a bystander.” 

To learn more about the foundation, please visit

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Emma Blackford

Emma Blackford worked for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2009-2017. During this time, Emma held the positions of Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Communications Manager for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and Marketing and Communications Manager for CatholicCare Hunter-Manning.

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