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Former NHLer Rich Peverley teams with Guelph Storm for AED funding

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley, right, makes a statement regarding his health and the incident which occurred in a recent NHL game during a news conference at UT Southwestern Medical Center as coach Lindy Ruff looks on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Dallas.
Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley, right, makes a statement regarding his health and the incident which occurred in a recent NHL game during a news conference at UT Southwestern Medical Center as coach Lindy Ruff looks on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Dallas. AP Photo/Tim Sharp

A defibrillator once saved his life and now Rich Peverley is trying to make sure those life-saving devices are as commonly available as fire extinguishers in Guelph.

The former NHLer will be in his hometown on Friday for the 3rd annual Pevs Protects fundraiser at the Sleeman Centre when the Guelph Storm host the Owen Sound Attack.

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All of the money raised through a variety of in-game contests and online donations will go towards funding the placement of Automated External Devices (AED) in Guelph, along with CPR and AED training.

Peverley nearly died while playing for the Dallas Stars. He collapsed on the bench during a game in March 2014. Paramedics, doctors and trainers rushed to his side. Along with their work, a charge from a defibrillator restarted his heart, which had stopped for about two minutes.

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He never played professional hockey again, but Peverley and his wife Nathalie started the Pevs Protects campaign in 2015 to raise awareness about the importance of AEDs and CPR.

The Peverleys have teamed up with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which says that up to 85 per cent of cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital. For every minute that passes without help, a person’s chance of surviving drops by 10 per cent.

Last year’s event raised $45,000. This year’s goal is to exceed that amount.