The following story by Press & Sun-Bulletin reporter Anthony Borrelli appeared on pressconnects.com on 1/28/16.
Enjoy some great athletics for a good cause this weekend, as 85 teams from around the Northeast and Canada converge at the Greater Binghamton Sports Complex for the annual John Mack Southern Tier Shootout Lacrosse Tournament.
The tournament is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the complex, 1500 Airport Road in Binghamton. Players range in age from third- and fourth-graders all the way up to grand masters (men ages 45 to 70).
All of this is to benefit the John Mack Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps fund purchases of automatic external defibrillators and training.
Mack was a 17-year-old junior at Binghamton High School who collapsed in full cardiac arrest during a club lacrosse game on Nov. 30, 2006, after a stick check to his chest. It took 19 minutes to get a defibrillator to the field to restart John’s heart.
After suffering irreparable brain damage, he was removed from life support three days later, and he became an organ donor.
Family members and friends organized a benefit after Mack’s death, and proceeds went toward purchasing of 21 AEDs — 21 was the number he wore on his lacrosse jersey.
According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the country.
Officials say an AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm and it’s easy to operate for a person without any medical background.
For each minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced almost 10 percent, according to the Red Cross.
SOURCE: Press & Sun-Bulletin / pressconnects.com