After many weeks of sorrow and devastating news from the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, we can finally rejoice ourselves with positive news that lights up our hearts. Ryan Straschnitzki, who was paralyzed from the chest down when a semi-trailer and the bus carrying his hockey team crashed on a rural Saskatchewan highway in April, is making great improvements in his condition, and it is sure to make your day.
Injuries Straschnitzki sustained in the crash have paralyzed him from the chest down. He suffered spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a punctured lung and internal bleeding inside his head and pelvis. He has been on a lengthy road to recovery, with stints in Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital, Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre and now Philadelphia’s Shriners Hospital.
His dream is now to get into sledge hockey, and he made one huge step closer to making his dream come true on Saturday as TSN revealed footage of Straschnitzki taking part in a sledge hockey practice and hitting the ice for the first time since the tragic accident.
According to TSN and Bardown, Straschnitzki was out on the ice along with his father, Tom, and retired Team Canada sledge hockey star Chris Cederstrand.
In May, Straschnitzki revealed in an interview with Yahoo Sports that he wants to stay involved hockey, no matter the variation of the sport.
"I just want to get back on the ice, whether it's sledge hockey or coaching or scouting…I just love being on the ice, so anyway I can do that is awesome."
Recently, the Calgary Flames contacted the 19-year-old defenseman about possibly working with the club when he’s ready to do so.
“Yeah, I first chatted with them. Nothing specific yet, and no set role,” Straschnitzki had told the Calgary Star. “But to be able to do that, I think that would be awesome.”
Straschnitzki is one of 13 surviving members of the Broncos junior-A hockey team, after his team’s bus collided with a semitruck on a Saskatchewan highway in early April. The crash killed 16 people.
This is great news for Straschnitzki and his family and we cannot wait to see more footage of him on the ice, having a blast and getting better and better at sledge hockey!
You are quite the inspiration, Ryan!