Dad runs NYC marathon in honor of high school staff that saved son with AED

Watch the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon Sunday, November 5 starting at 7 a.m. on ABC 7

Sam Ryan Image
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Dad to run NYC marathon after school staff saves son with AED
Sam Ryan has more on one dad's motivation behind running the TCS New York City Marathon.

MINEOLA, New York (WABC) -- We're counting down the days to the TCS New York City Marathon and introducing you to some of the inspiring people who are ready to run.

Less than a year ago, the world stopped for the Kellachan family when their son PJ collapsed on the basketball court.

RELATED: 2023 TCS NYC Marathon By The Mile

His life was saved by the coaches and administrators around him, so now PJ's dad is paying tribute to them by running 26.2 miles.

The terrifying incident is still so vivid in their memories.

It was less than a year ago, last December when, when then Chaminade senior, PJ Kellahan, collapsed on the basketball court and went into cardiac arrest.

The immediate response by his coaches, the staff, and the use of an AED saved his life.

"To see how our team, my staff, ran and got to the AED, and thank God we have several on campus and knew exactly what to do. We know they saved his life," said Brother Tom Cleary, President, Chaminade High School.

"They went by the book, it's all a time thing," said Dr. Sean Levchuck, Cardiologist, Catholic Health Services.

"It's crystal clear in my mind, like how that played out. I remember it vividly," said Pat Kellachan, PJ's father.

"My son is all wired up and on an incubator," Pat said. "So, it was really hard for me to digest and handle at that time."

PJ is now a healthy college freshman at the University of Scranton. While his father Pat, with those memories still fresh in his mind, wants to recognize those who saved his son's life.

"My question is, what do you do for the people that saved your kid's life? What do you do? And my answer is apparently you run a marathon and raise some money, and that's what we're doing," he said.

"You've never run a marathon before?" Eyewitness News Sports Anchor Sam Ryan asked.

"Never run a marathon. I've run half. This is a first," Pat said.

Taking on the New York City Marathon with the goal to bring awareness to just how vital AEDs, like that one that saved PJ's life are.

"We're funding additional AEDs at Chaminade, we're funding training for use of AEDs, CPR, and all of that, and God willing, we're going to share the wealth a little bit at other like-minded institutions," Pat said.

"The best thing about it, in my mind, it will save a life," Brother Cleary said.

Discover more coverage of the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon here and tune in Sunday starting at 7:00 a.m. on Channel 7 for coverage of the race.


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