Lizze Jones calls for more heart research

Lizzie Jones has called for more research to spot the inherited heart condition that caused the death of her husband Danny.

The Keighley and Wales halfback suffered a cardiac arrest during a match between the Cougars and London Scholars in May. Jones was transferred to hospital but doctors could do nothing to save him.

A post-mortem found the 29-year old’s cardiac arrest was caused by a previously undetected hereditary heart disease.

Lizzie Jones said her twins will tested for the condition.

“In future they will be tested for the inherited condition that Danny died of,” she told Wales Online.

“I just hope that by telling Danny’s story more support will be given to finding new treatments for these conditions that could one day benefit my children.”

Jones said losing her husband last year has devastated her family.

“It just didn’t occur to me that a seemingly fit and healthy athlete like Danny could ever be struck down with a heart condition,” he said.

“It goes to show that it can happen to anyone.”

According to research, an  estimated 12 apparently fit and healthy people aged 35 and under in the UK die of an undiagnosed heart condition each week.

The British Heart Foundation estimates that over 6,000 people are born each year in the UK with a genetic fault that puts them at a high risk of suffering from an inherited heart condition which could lead to a cardiac arrest.

Up to half a million people in the UK are living with one of these genetic defects.

Professor Peter Weissberg said research into inherited heart conditions that take the lives of hundreds of young people every year needs to be urgently accelerated.

“Our research has helped make great progress in identifying some of the gene defects that cause these heart conditions and as a result genetic testing is now available for many people with a family history of an inherited heart disease,” the medical director at the British Heart Foundation told Wales Online.

“However many of the causative defects remain undiscovered.

“We urgently need people’s support to enable us to fund more research into these gene defects so that patients at risk can be identified before they have a serious cardiac event and so that we can work towards developing treatments to neutralise the effects of the faulty gene.”

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