On 3rd May 2015, Wales Rugby League international Danny Jones died suddenly playing the game he loved.

A post mortem examination showed that he died of cardiomyopathy, an inherited condition leading to abnormal heart muscle, which could have been diagnosed by cardiac screening. He left behind Lizzie, his wife and 5 month old twins, Bobby and Phoebe. Since then Lizzie, a professional singer has already helped raise nearly £100,000 for the Danny Jones defibrillator fund which is helping community clubs purchase life-saving equipment and provide cardiac screening for their players. This funding has partly paid for the defibrillator we use at the Queensway stadium and North Wales Crusaders Rugby League club.

In memory of Danny, Dr Richard Lawrance a consultant cardiologist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, director and team doctor for North Wales Crusaders as well as team doctor for the senior Wales Rugby League squad is organising a cardiac screening event due to take place at Queensway Stadium over the weekend of 6th / 7th October. Dr Lawrance trained with world experts in Canada and at theLondon Heart Hospital and specialises in heart function, ultrasound and MRI scanning and regularly does the cardiac screening for a number of professional clubs, including Warrington Wolves and the North Wales Crusaders.

He said, “During Danny’s career there were minimal cardiac screening initiatives and I have no doubt that if there had have been, this tragedy may well have been prevented. Cardiac screening can potentially detect the majority of heart conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac death. Throughout the UK, there are around 12 sudden deaths in apparently fit and healthy people under age of 35 each week.”

Screening involves performing a painless electrical heart recording (electrocardiogram, ECG) a detailed questionnaire, listening to the heart with a stethoscope and for selected individuals, an ultrasound heart scan. If you are interested please email[email protected].