Salterlee Primary School is home to new defibrillator

Lizzie Jones with the new defibrillator at Salterlee Primary School, Shibden.
Lizzie Jones with the new defibrillator at Salterlee Primary School, Shibden.

A potentially life-saving defibrillator now stands outside Salterlee Primary School, Halifax, as a poignant reminder of rugby league player Danny Jones’ lasting legacy.

Inspirational mum-of-two Lizzie Jones, who lives in Northowram, has worked tirelessly for charity since her husband Danny’s death in May 2015.

The Keighley Cougars rugby league player and former Fax star, was just 29 when he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest, triggered by a previously undetected hereditary heart disease, during a game at London Skolars.

Following the tragedy, the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund was set up. It funds the equipment and screening sessions, to prevent other lives being lost the same way.

Staff from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) recently took part in a sponsored cycle ride for the fund, raising around £1,400. Cardiac Science donated a defibrillator as part of the effort, with the YAS Charitable Fund donating the cabinet so it can be used by members of the public.

Lizzie said: “My niece and nephew come to Salterlee, they were very, very close to Danny - they know everything, understand everything, and asked me why they didn’t have one at their school.

“It’s there for the whole of the Shibden Valley - it’s a huge area, there’s a lot of people and I just though there is no better place to have it.”

She says the fundraising has “snowballed” and urged people to keep the charity in their minds so even more could be done.

Ryan Burrows, who took part in the cycle challenge, said: “As an ambulance dispatcher, the more community defibrillators we can have out there, the better, because it means we can get this life-saving equipment to the patient more quickly which is vital in the event of a cardiac arrest.”