Remembering Kevin Major, Four years later - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Remembering Kevin Major, Four years later

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"Live every day. Laugh every moment. Love beyond words."

It's a motto 19-year-old Kevin Major lived by.

Major drowned in Southwick's Congamond Lake four years ago on July 11th. Unknown to anyone, the cause of his death was an abnormally enlarged heart chamber.

His mother, Susan Canning, held back tears as she remembered her loving son.

"At the end of the day, this is about Kevin and Kevin's legacy. And, I know he's looking down. And he's proud of the foundation, the family, but he's so proud of the community that he was apart of," said Canning.

In its fifth year, The Kevin J. Major Memorial Hockey Tournament has grown by large numbers.

"They really do it right around here. That's what I've said the whole weekend is that they do everything right. Everyone's in a great mood," said Jake Bolton. "Everybody knows about Kevin and about the situation."

Kevin, a graduate of St. Mary's High School, in Westfield died at a young age from sudden cardiac arrest.

"Statistically, the first incident of sudden cardiac arrest is often the last in our youth. But, with proper screening and proper history review by pediatricians we can catch this before it becomes a fatality," said Canning. 

Canning is now on a crusade to raise awareness. Over the past few years, she has worked to educate the community about sudden cardiac arrest.

"Defibrillators or AED's range from $800 - $1800 depending on the model and the different options. But, they're affordable for what the end result could be and that's saving a life," said Canning. 

More than 150 players took part in Sunday's game.

The money raised will provide AED's and heart screenings for youth in Western Mass. 

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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