Fulfilling a boy’s dream, TV hockey commentator Don Cherry joined the McEachern family and the Heart and Stroke Foundation to honour Chase’s legacy by unveiling an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. There could not have been a better place to remember Chase, explains his father John McEachern at an emotional ceremony on February 15, 2011. “Carrying on Chase’s story…what better place to be with his love of hockey than the Hockey Hall of Fame and Don Cherry getting the word out,” says John. Chase McEachern’s story has been a catalyst in promoting the importance of resuscitation and quick access to AEDs across Ontario.
Chase advocated passionately for AEDs to be placed in every school and hockey arena in the province after he was diagnosed with an atrial flutter. He once said to his father, “Just get it done, Dad” – powerful words that continue to motivate and inspire Chase’s family. After Chase’s passing, the Foundation reached out to his family to establish the Chase McEachern Tribute Fund. Since 2006, this fund and the Restart a Heart, a Life program has placed more than 2,700 AEDs, along with the associated training, in public arenas, recreational centres, fitness facilities and community spaces across Ontario.
As of August 2011, AEDs placed by HSFO have saved 30 lives, young and old. “Knowing there have been so many lives saved in Ontario is truly an honour to the legacy of Chase’s dream,” says John.