Chase McEachern hockey tournament
Published Saturday, February 28, 2015 6:24PM EST
The 8th annual Chase McEachern memorial hockey tournament was held in Barrie on Saturday.
Chase was 11 when he died in 2006 of heart complications, and who dreamed of seeing defibrillators installed across Simcoe County.
"Chase got hit playing football, sent his heart into an abnormal rhythm,” explained his father John McEachern. “One day at Sick Kids his coach said, ‘Chase, we have to make a positive out of all this.’ That's when he decided to write a letter to Don Cherry and wanted to have defibrillators in public places for the protection of both young and old."
Chase's memorial foundation has raised more than $1 million through this tournament as well as an annual golf tournament.
That $1 million has paid for more than 600 defibrillators in schools and recreational facilities across Simcoe County.
“It only makes our community safer,” said Valerie Holland with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “The more AED's out there in the public the more chances to save somebody's life if they happen to have a cardiac arrest."
As a hockey player, Rob Chushnaghan knows how important defibrillators are at local rec centres.
"Hockey is a sport that spans all age groups, so you end up with people sometimes that have medical distress issues,” he said. “AED's could come in valuable. Hockey rinks are a community gathering place, so having the right first aid equipment there is critical."