Family calls for defibrillators on sports fields after son’s tragic death
A Thamesford family has started a campaign to place defibrillators on all sports field, after the tragic loss of their son. 15-year-old Andrew Stoddart collapsed Monday during a soccer game, and couldn’t be revived.
“I looked out and saw Andrew on the ground, and went running and couldn't find any signs on him, so we right away called 911… and started compressions,” said his soccer coach Katarina Dewit.
“We’re all devastated. Everybody, hundreds and hundreds of people are devastated by this,” his father Bruce Stoddart said.
The Ingersoll Collegiate District Institute student was described as kind, caring and a gifted athlete. He was part of the track team, played soccer and football. His football coach said he was on his way to becoming a star quarterback.
“It's not often that I get to take notice of a grade 9 kid, I’m a defensive coach and him playing on offence, I normally would notice a kid like that but he stepped up,” Scott Murray said.
“He was a leader, and we saw that right away and started grooming him to be a quarterback,” Murray continued.
The Stoddart family says an autopsy showed Andrew died of a heart attack, but it also showed he had a healthy heart. They believe he could have been saved if a defibrillator had been on scene when he collapsed.
“My goal, our goal as his family is to make sure that this doesn't happen to any other kids,” his mother Cara Stoddart explained.
The family has started fundraising, with a goal of having a defibrillator on all sporting fields or with each local team.
“That defibrillator should be right in the gear bag. It should be with the balls, it should be with the water bottles, it should be part of what goes out to every game,” said Andrew’s uncle Ron Funnell.
The devices cost about $2,500 each.