Beloved Hockey Coach Honored Sunday, July 16, At Fundraiser

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Coach Kent returns to the rink to thank Northwell Health surgeon who performed lifesaving heart surgery. In honor of their coach’s miraculous recovery, Christopher Boisselle, 17, a senior at Manhasset High School and his 20 teammates, banded together to organize a fundraiser for the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital this Sunday, July 16, at 2 p.m. in the Port Washington Skating Center, 70 Seaview Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050. (LI Edge’s practice rink.). The event includes two hours of skating lessons by the team for children and adults; raffle items such as signed Islander jerseys, sticks and gifts donated by local merchants will be made available. Ed Westfall, New York Islanders’ former captain, joins them for the event

Kent Hitchcock, 52, a youth hockey coach from Manhasset, LI, is very lucky to be alive. Back in March, Hitchcock was on the ice during a state championship game at the Dix Hills Skating Rink. He has served as head coach for the LI Edge 18U (age 18 and under) Hockey Team since most of the boys were ages seven or eight, including his own son. Mr. Hitchock, who has been playing hockey for decades, suddenly became light-headed and couldn’t breathe. In front of a rink packed with spectators, he collapsed, his face turned blue and he stopped breathing – Hitchcock was in cardiac arrest. First responders at the rink gave him CPR and used a defibrillator to reset his heartbeat.
Thanks to the first responders’ quick actions, Hitchcock was conscious when the ambulance arrived. He was brought to Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, where cardiologist Raj Patcha, MD, performed a procedure to insert a small balloon into his blocked artery to bring more blood to the heart. Once stable, Hitchcock was transferred to the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for more complex heart surgery. Alan Hartman, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon at Northwell Health, met with Hitchock and his wife, Mia, to explain that a quadruple coronary artery bypass graft needed to be done immediately. On March 7, Hitchcock underwent a successful surgery. Three weeks after that, he returned to the ice and is now back to work as an executive at a large investment bank in Manhattan.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Port Washington News, special features including the Business Quarterly column, Manhasset Magazine, Pride In Port, Port Washington News, Port Gift Guide and other special sections. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community newspaper" several years in a row.

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