Jordan Boyd was a strapping 6’1”, 190 pound 16 year old athlete. Jordan lived for sports but it was hockey that was his passion. Jordan played hockey since the age of 5, continually excelling and working at the game. At the age of 16, Jordan was drafted to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in the June 2013 Entry Draft, selected by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the 4th round, 66th overall. Jordan trained in Halifax that summer with a professional trainer and other hockey players. On August 11, 2013 Jordan along with his parents, Stephen and Debbie, arrived at the Acadie-Bathurst Titan training camp. Jordan was excited and in peak physical condition, having prepared all summer. After some team meetings that night, the next morning, August 12, 2013, Jordan attended his first team practice. According to the team, Jordan was relaxed and joking around in the dressing room prior to the practice. Jordan stepped on the ice and with the rest of the team went through a warm-up and completed a couple of drills. Approximately 10 minutes into the practice as he was about to start another drill, Jordan collapsed to the ice without warning. His parents in the stands at first did not realize what had happened. Jordan’s mother Debbie noticed a player fall without reason and thought it may have been Jordan. Jordan’s father Stephen immediately made his way towards the ice and their worst fears were confirmed. It was Jordan and it was clear there was something terribly wrong. Some confusion followed. EMT’s arrived about 8 minutes after Jordan collapsed. Efforts to save Jordan were not successful and approximately 45 minutes after he initially collapsed, Jordan’s parents were told by the emergency room doctor that Jordan could not be saved and that they could go in and say goodbye to him.
It was subsequently learned that Jordan had an inherited heart condition called ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricle Cardiomyopathy). There was no known family history on either side of Jordan’s family of heart disease. Jordan had completed the QMJHL Player Medical Evaluation just 6 weeks earlier and deemed “fit to play”. This condition often has no symptoms so can be hard to detect.
Growing up in Bedford, Nova Scotia Jordan watched his older brother and other neighborhood kids playing street hockey from the time he was old enough to look out the window. He couldn’t wait to play the game. In fact, just as Jordan learned to walk, he found a cut-off hockey stick in the house and would run around inside with it, whacking everything he could find. By the time Jordan was three he was on skates and he never looked back. Jordan played all the sports kids do – baseball, soccer, lacrosse, football, golf – he wake boarded – but it was hockey he loved. When Jordan was asked to write stories as part of his school work, that story inevitably always had something to do with hockey. Jordan’s teachers would often ask if he could write about something other than hockey!
Jordan was known for his trademark smile. He loved life and all it had to offer. He could be mischievous but always with the best of intentions. Jordan made friends easily and had many, many friends. If you were Jordan’s friend, he valued that and you were his friend for life.
Jordan was very blessed in his life in many ways and for that he was grateful. Jordan would always say thank you whenever anything was done for him. He loved his family and would torment his sisters whenever he could. Jordan was just an all-around good guy.
As Jordan grew up, especially in the last year of his life, he grew into a real gentlemen, focused and driven. In grade 10 he attended Rothesay Netherwood School in New Brunswick – a year he really seemed to embrace. Jordan should be proud of how he lived his life and the examples he set for those he leaves behind. His family and friends are. Jordan would also be proud and grateful for all of the good things that are being done in his name.
The Jordan Boyd Foundation is established under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia and is comprised of a group of five volunteer directors.
- To educate and raise awareness of inherited heart diseases in young people and particularly athletes.
- To administer the Jordan Boyd Leadership Award Scholarship.
- To support research and investigation into inherited heart diseases, early detection and cures, through the annual Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge.
The Jordan Boyd Leadership Award & Scholarship has been established to recognize individuals in amateur hockey, in the form a series of scholarships, who have demonstrated a passion for sportsmanship, learning, leadership and community. These qualities reflect those found in Jordan.
The Award & Scholarship was established in 2013 shortly after Jordan’s passing. Since that time 14 student athletes have received a Jordan Boyd Leadership Award & Scholarship.
Awards are paid directly to the post secondary institution upon proof of successful completion of the first semester.
- Registered during current playing season with Hockey Nova Scotia or NSSAF (hockey) as a member in good standing as either a player or on-ice official.
- Must graduate from high school same year the award is presented.
- Must commence post secondary studies at a Canadian University or Community College in the same year the award is presented or the first year after Junior eligibility if playing Jr Hockey.
- Must be committed to the principle of fair play and sportsmanship.
- Applicant must write a short essay explaining why they are deserving and how they have met the criteria.
The Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge was established in 2014 to celebrate the life of Jordan Boyd and the wonderful young man he was. Additionally, it was hoped that the event could be used to raise some funds to help with research into inherited heart diseases. The event was the idea of Jordan’s older brother Greg and older cousin Colin. As they said at the time, “there had been so much sadness in the previous year, let’s do something to celebrate Jordan’s life, something he would love”.
On August 8th, 2014, just shy of the one year anniversary of Jordan’s passing, six teams took to the ice in the first Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge at the BMO Centre in Bedford, NS. Where Jordan played much of his minor hockey. Some 100 players competed, many of them current and former QMJHL, CIS, and ECHL players. They were joined by 8 Pro’s who graciously gave up a day of their busy schedules to participate. They included Brad Marchand, Nathan MacKinnon, James Sheppard, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Shawn O’Donnell, Zach Sill, and Darren Rumble. That day $103,000 was raised.
The event that day was successful beyond the wildest expectations of Jordan’s family. Many of those participated asked that we do it again, they enjoyed the day so much.
On August 8th, 2015, the second annual Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge took place at the BMO Centre. Six teams again competed for the Boyd Cup. These 100 plus players were again joined by a number of Pro’s including Brad Marchand, Nathan MacKinnon, James Sheppard, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Shawn O’Donnell, Liam O’ Brien, Alex Grant, and Andrew MacDonald. In its second year, the Celebrity Challenge raised an amazing $140,000.
On August 6th 2016, the third annual Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge saw new teams, new pros, and many returning participants and pro’s in another amazing day in honour of Jordan, raising an outstanding $150,000.
To Date, the tournament has raised $400,000 for inherited heart disease research through our partnerships with the QEII Foundation and Heart & Stroke Foundation, with both organizations funding research studies and education into inherited heart diseases.
Education & Awareness
Education and awareness of sudden cardiac events and deaths is another very important goal of the Jordan Boyd Foundation.
As in many cases of sudden cardiac death, particularly in young people, we are left to wonder how this could happen. Jordan was an extremely fit and outwardly healthy young man and athlete, who worked out with a professional trainer 4-5 days a week.
The Jordan Boyd Foundation and the Boyd family are telling Jordan’s story with several goals in mind:
- Raise the awareness of the possibility of a young person having an inherited heart disease , even without any family history, as was the case with Jordan
- In the case of athletes, have parents, athletes, and sports organizations consider more in depth cardiac screening. This could include EKG’s, ECG’s, and MRI’s or other screening tests that a Doctor or health care professional may recommend.
- Be aware of potential signs of a cardiac problem. Although in roughly 50% of sudden cardiac deaths there are no advance warnings in some cases there are. Fainting, dizzy spells, and irregular heart beat are some warning signs health care professionals have identified.
- Creating more awareness of and supporting broader training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as well as wider availability of an training in the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s). Immediate response with CPR and AED in the event of a cardiac arrest are proven to greatly increase chances of survival.
Sudden cardiac arrest in young people is more prevalent than many people realize. How can a young, fit, healthy athlete like Jordan suddenly collapse and pass away from cardiac arrest? As a prominent medical researcher in sudden cardiac arrest in Canada, Dr. Andrew Krahn has said “this is the lightning strike”.
Cardiac arrest is the failure of blood circulation because the heart is unable to pump blood effectively. When there is no obvious structural heart disease, this is referred to as unexplained cardiac arrest (UCA). Between 30-60% of UCA cases who undergo additional special tests will have a cause due to inherited cardiac abnormalities, where out of sync electrical activity can have the heart beating unusually fast, leading to blackouts or sudden death. Some of the patients who experience this have an abnormal electrocardiogram (EKG), while others’ EKGs are normal. It is therefore critical to pinpoint the cause of the inherited abnormalities and the possible consequences for family members.
For example, in Jordan’s case, he had a condition called Arrhythmatic Right Ventricle Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), that was undetected. Six weeks before Jordan passed away, he had a complete medical as mandated by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was declared fit to play. Research and studies of sudden cardiac arrest in younger people is critical to identifying risk factors, earlier detection , and potential treatments.
The Jordan Boyd Foundation using funds raised from the Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge are proud to support important medical research and training into inherited heart diseases, particularly ARVC.
To date, significant support has been given to Dr. Andrew Krahn, Head of the Division of Cardiology at the University of British Columbia, and a prominent Canadian researcher into inherited heart diseases. An internationally recognized expert in the management of cardiac arrhythmias, Dr. Krahn’s current research interests include investigating the genetic causes of heart arrhythmias. He has published 245 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is the president of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society.Dr. Krahn has been spearheading a group of researchers, cardiologists, and scientists across Canada who undertake research studies into inherited heart diseases and maintain a database to further understanding of inherited heart diseases, the goal of which is to understand and identify these conditions in advance of a traumatic event, ultimately leading to the saving of lives.
In 2015, the Jordan Boyd Foundation, again through funds raised from the Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge, was pleased to be able to support advanced education and training for Dr. Ciorsti McIntyre, a doctor and researcher with the Inherited Heart Disease Clinic of the Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Center and Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax. Through this support, Dr. McIntyre was able to be able to take advanced training and learning with some of the brightest minds in inherited heart diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Boston. Dr. McIntyre will bring her knowledge back to Canada and Nova Scotia and continue her work with the Inherited Heart Research Clinic in Halifax.
medicine.dal.ca › … › Divisions › Division of Cardiology › Our People
The Jordan Boyd Foundation is comprised of a volunteer Board of Directors who manage the business of the Foundation.
- Randolph DeGooyer – Hammonds Plains, N.S.
- Paul MacIsaac – Hammonds Plains, N.S.
- Phil Gruchy – Bedford, N.S.
- Todd Watson – Fall River, N.S.
- Peter Boyd – Dartmouth, N.S.
- Stephen Boyd – Bedford, N.S.
- David Yould – Hammonds Plains, N.S.
- Kelsey Boyd – Bedford, N.S.
The Foundation publishes financial statements each year. Please see below for financial statements: