Don McDonald will be known for many things in Saskatoon.
A war veteran, a bagpiper, a former Hilltop player, coach, board member, citizen of the year, sports hall-of-famer, and the list goes on.
But, what the 86-year-old might most graciously be remembered for was for speaking on behalf of the Health Region’s Heart Safe program for defibrillators.
“For him to lend his voice to us and to really promote the program took us to be number one in North America today,” said Troy Davies with Medavie Health Services West (MHS).
Being part of the ‘heart safe’ program was a personal choice for McDonald.
In 2007, he was participating in a downtown parade on Fourth Avenue when he suffered an attack and had to be resuscitated with an automated external defibrillator (AED) that someone grabbed from inside the old police station.
McDonald was one of the first ‘saves’ under the AED program that began in the region just two years earlier.
“Not only was he a save, he came in as a major spokesperson for our program and took our program from what was 100 AED’s across the city to now a thousand,” said Davies.
To this date, 29 lives have been saved in the health region.
McDonald passed away at his Sherbrooke residence on Friday, September 21, 2018.
Representatives from the `heart safe`program will likely be among those present for Saturday`s service, to help family and friends bid a fond farewell to a man who has left an indelible mark on a community.