LIFE-SAVING equipment has been donated to a community fitness hub to honour the life of a loving Flintshire mum.

Laura Newsome, of Holywell, left behind a wealth of family and friends when she died suddenly to Sudden Arrhythmic Death syndrome (SADS) in February 2019.

The 38-year-old has a devoted daughter, Jordanne, as well as proud parents Helen and Mike.

Laura was a special sister to Whitney, Bradley and Richard. She was also a much-loved auntie to Mia, Taylor, Dilan, Thom and Liv.

The Newsome's wanted to mark what would have been “larger than life” Laura’s 40th birthday in a memorable way.

Her family met at the not-for-profit gym Toe 2 Toe Fitness in Holywell not only to celebrate her life, but to hand over vital medical equipment which was the result of months of fundraising.

A mobile defibrillator, which will be located at the gym, is the family's way of raising awareness of SADS and ensuring that not one more life is lost too soon in the local area.

Laura’s mum, Helen Newsome, of Carmel, said: “She would be so pleased to see this happening as Laura always liked to help people.

"She donated to a different charity every six months, and was studying an open university degree in health and social care so she was always that way inclined."

The Leader:

The defibrillator being handed over to Toe2Toe Holywell by Laura Newsome’s family. [From left; Richard Newsome, Whitney Newsome, Matt Inskip, Helen Newsome, Jordanne Newsome (holding two-year-old daughter Evelyn) and Bradley Newsome.]

Helen continued: “It doesn't seem like two years ago that she passed away. It still hasn't quite sunk in.

“What we want to do is raise awareness and enlighten people as it's not just old people who can suffer from SADS, but anyone. People need to be more aware of it - especially younger people, and what's happened with the footballer has had a positive knock-on effect.”

Helen refers to when the world was stunned as Denmark national footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a heart attack during the delayed 2020 UEFA European Football Championships earlier this summer.

But, as Helen’s daughter Jordanne said: “The footballer was in the right place at the right time, with all the medical team there to help him. Mum was on her own.”

The Leader:

The Euro 2020 incident centering on Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen brought the need for defib access to the forefront of people's minds. [Image: PA Media]

The new defibrillator, which cost over £800 to purchase from SADS UK, was fundraised by loving family and friends who wanted Laura's memory to live on in the community she so loved.

Matt Inskip, gym owner, has been dedicated to community endeavours and fundraising efforts since Toe 2 Toe opened as a not-for-profit organisation in 2017.

He has welcomed the defibrillator, highlighting it is for communal use and not just for patrons of the martial arts hub.

He said: “Whitney used to come here, and Arthur, Laura’s nephew, comes here to do the Mini Warriors sessions. We were looking into ways to install a defibrillator but when Helen got in touch, it all just fell into place.

“The community atmosphere here in Holywell is great, and we will all do anything we can to help.

“The fact the family have raised this much is incredible, and as a family run enterprise, it means all the more that they have chosen to honour Laura's life here at Toe 2 Toe, which serves people from all ages and walks of life.

“It's a mobile one which is amazing, so anyone in the community is welcome to use it. Hopefully it’s never needed, but it’s just that extra chance to save a life. Any local event like a football match or town fair, anyone is welcome to loan it for the period.

“With us being open 7 days a week from 6am to 9pm, we think we're one of the best places to store it but of course, if anyone would like to use it, please get in touch via phone Instagram or Facebook.”

The Leader:

Laura Newsome, pictured, sadly died at home in February 2019 - and could have been saved with a defibrillator.

Whitney explained that despite the impact of COVID-19 on charities, fundraising for the defibrillator in Laura's memory was easy.

This was due to the popularity of the doting mum, sister and grandmother, who passed away before her only daughter Jordanne gave birth to two-year-old Evelyn, where Laura's smile lives on.

Helen said the intention is to continue working alongside SADS, and to host a yearly celebration to commemorate Laura’s life while educating others about the condition.

She said: “It means something that Laura used to come here.

“We were looking for places to keep the defibrillator, and when I realised that Arthur, who is only four years old was coming here, it just meant even more to know he was training in somewhere that was safer.”