That’s the time it took for two Chaminade High School basketball coaches, one athletic trainer, and 14 teammates to help save the life of 17-year-old PJ Kellachan.
This happened last winter, and PJ’s father is doing his best to return the favor. “I’m in debt to this school and in debt to these men,” Pat Kellachan told Greater Long Island.
To start repaying that debt, the Kellachan family, of Rockville Centre, has started a fundraiser to help pay back the school which saved his son’s life.
Click here to donate to the Kellechan family’s fundraiser.
In December of 2022, PJ, while at basketball practice, suffered a cardiac arrest. He stopped breathing. His heart stopped beating.
But with the help of an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine located in the same gym, PJ’s life was saved. The coaches and trainers were certified and knew exactly what to do. After multiple cycles of administering the AED, a pulse was detected.
Less than a year later, Pat has raised more than $45,000 to implement additional AEDs and training for coaches and teachers at Chaminade High School.
On Nov. 5, Kellachan will run in his first NYC Marathon to continue his fundraising efforts.
“AEDs are a proven life saver and I have heard countless stories of other young athletes who had a similar experience as PJ where the outcome was not optimal…if we save one life, it was worth it.”
AEDs are required in all New York state schools. They cost approximately $1,500. They are to be prominently displayed and easily accessible.
As it pertains to PJ, the AED machine was a mere 50 feet away from where he laid. Remarkably, PJ made his way back to the court two months later, and helped his team to the New York State Catholic School semi-finals.
He is currently playing basketball at the University of Scranton.
Top: The Kellachan family after PJ announced his commitment to play basketball at the University of Scranton. (Credit: Chaminade High School)