ENDWELL, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) 9 local non-profits are receiving a device that could save a life.

The John Mack Foundation distributed free Automated External Defibrillators or AED’s to the organizations during a presentation last Thursday at the Union Town Hall.

Union Supervisor Rob Mack is also President of the foundation which honors his nephew John who died of a heart attack while playing a lacrosse game back in 2006.

More specifically, John Mack died from a form of cardiac arrest known as commotio cordis, the same condition that affected Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during a game earlier this year.

Hamlin was struck in the chest by a receiver while making a tackle, much like Mack was struck in the chest by a lacrosse stick.

The blow to the chest, done at just the exact time and exact power, can cause the heart to go into arrhythmia and stop beating.

Unlike Hamlin, Mack had to wait 19 minutes for an ambulance to arrive with an AED, at which time the loss of oxygen to his brain caused him to be brain dead.

Rob Mack says Hamlin’s injury immediately renewed interest in the foundation.

“Brought back those memories of what happened in 2006. It was pretty significant to see something like that on national TV. And really for people to understand how this can happen. And how it can be fixed. This guy is going to play football again.”

Since it launched in 2006, the John Mack Foundation has provided free AED’s to over 200 non-profits which have been credited with saving the lives of at least 6 people.

The latest recipients are American Legion Post 1700, Bulldogs Sports Complex, Chenango Valley Youth Lacrosse, GiGi’s Playhouse, Johnson City Youth Football, Maine-Endwell Little League, Northern Tioga Youth League, Sacred Heart Church and Union-Endicott Little League.

The foundation stopped running its annual indoor lacrosse tournament due to COVID, which was its largest fundraiser.

You can make donations to support the cause at JohnMackFoundation.org.