Turning tragedy into a life lesson is not an easy task.
Peter’s Story shares that lesson with the account of highly-popular Lumby hockey coach Peter Catt, who was known for his sense of humour.
Peter died during the night from a heart attack in November and the video aims to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease, said his widow Rhonda Catt.
She decided to do the video “because of my career, I want to educate people.”
Peter was in shape, working out two to three times a week, along with other activities like hockey, biking and running.
What the Catts failed to realize was Peter’s fatigue wasn’t due to his 12-hour shifts at work, and his complaints of heartburn were warning signs of cardiovascular damage.
“You don’t think anything of it: he had just turned 46,” she said.
Peter also didn’t get regular check-ups.
Rhonda wants to prevent further deaths from happening.
“If I can help others recognize some of the red flags that Peter went through, then you’ve saved a life, you’ve saved a father.”
The 45-year-old mother of two thought of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and how it caught on so quickly.
She decided a video would be the best way to reach a large audience and sought help from Sproing Creative in Vernon.
“I thought, ‘how can I tie in the sport of hockey, which I love so much? Writing an article and a story isn’t going to do it,’” she said.
As a fitness trainer who has worked with junior, minor and NHL players, she asked her contacts to participate.
“I contacted almost everyone I had in my hockey circle.”
The result was amazing.
The video consists of members of the Vernon Vipers, friends, family, doctors, the Iowa Wild, the Vancouver Canucks, the Detroit Red Wings and more.
Rhonda hopes that the video will continue to expand its reach to a global scale.
Released on June 9, the video had 61,322 views on Facebook with 117,596 people reached by early summer, said director Joe Pinheiro.
“It was a cool thing for her to dive into after the aftermath of Peter’s death,” said one of the producers, Heath Fletcher.
“Rhonda was the main writer for the script. We did assist her a bit but she did write 95 per cent of it herself.”
Sproing also created a website for Rhonda.
“In the process of creating the film, we donated the website to her,” said Fletcher.
The team of approximately five individuals helped with filming, provided suggestions, collaborated with her on the scripts, as well as creating the audio and graphics.
Rhonda provided the questions and the goal of the video.
The feedback has been positive with posts of messages online sharing similar stories, said Rhonda.
A crest was created in Peter’s honour by his best friend, Cole Young, and can be seen in the video. A group of men’s casual hockey players wear it on their jerseys.
“Its a nice thing, coming from a small town. Our hockey association stepped up. We’re very lucky to have support from the parents, the kids, the association,” said Rhonda.
To get involved, visit petersstory.ca and use the hashtag #sharePetersStory.
Some of the red flags for cardiovascular disease:
High Blood Pressure