“It will be five years in July that my life change.” Brett MacLean still can’t believe what happened half a decade ago in small town Ontario.
“I went home for the summer in Owen Sound and was going for my first skate. 40 minutes into it I made a pass and just collapsed to the ice”
MacLean was just 23-years-old and was in impeccable shape after spending the last two seasons playing pro hockey in the USA, having stints in Phoenix and Winnipeg with their American League teams. He had suffered a cardiac arrest.
“I don’t really remember what happened but I was lucky. A couple of my friends I was playing hockey with that day new CPR and my friends dad used the AED (Automatic external defibrillator).”
Now 28-years-old he is an advocate for AED and heart health and wants everyone to know his story.
“My perspective of heart disease changed a lot. Before I thought it was something that just impacted sick people or elderly. Now I know it truly can affect everyone”
On Sunday he will join over 15,000 cyclist who will travel a major road way in Toronto to help raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
That moment five years ago completely change his path in life.
“I was playing pro hockey in the USA at the time and my plan was to go and become a full time NHL player the next season,” MacLean said while getting ready for another interview at the foundation’s headquarters in downtown Toronto.
“I’m looking at the bright side. If I can help other people in the future then it’s all worth it.”