HCN News & Notes

Susan Canning to Speak to Springfield Rotary Club on Cardiac Arrest

SPRINGFIELD — Susan Canning, KEVS Foundation founder, will address the Springfield Rotary Club’s luncheon meeting on Friday, June 19. Her topic will be “Preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children and Young Adults.”

Canning is the mother of Kevin Major, who died of sudden cardiac arrest (CRA) in 2011 at age 19. Kevin started playing hockey at the age of 3 and played competitively until the time of his passing. He loved sports and also participated in baseball, lacrosse, and golf, and was a member of the Springfield Rifle Rugby Team.

Kevin had an undiagnosed condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), but had experienced no symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5,000 young people between ages 15 and 34 years die annually from sudden cardiac arrest. The leading cause of death is HCM, an abnormally enlarged heart muscle.

Canning formed the KEVS Foundation to educate and raise awareness of SCA in children and young adults. The foundation sponsors cardiac screenings for young people in the community. The value of each screening is approximately $3,000, but all are free of charge with a request of a donation based on financial ability. The goal of the KEVS Foundation is to help raise awareness of SCA through education, screenings, and providing state-of-the-art automatic emergency defibrillators (AEDs) in communities. Donations from the screenings are used to purchase these AEDs.

Canning teaches CPR and AED classes and raises funds to help donate AEDs to local schools and fields.
This past year, the foundation taught CPR skills to more than 3,800 students and donated more than 20 AED units. Canning helped coordinate more than 900 heart screenings last year, and, as a result, several children have been diagnosed with previously undetected heart conditions. For more information on the KEVS Foundation, visit www.kevsfoundation.org.

The Springfield Rotary Club meets every Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the MassMutual Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The event costs $17 and is open to the public. For more information on the Springfield Rotary or becoming a member, call Mike Healy, membership chair, at (860) 796-1435, or visit www.springfieldmarotary.org.