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Juvenile Canadian hockey player paralyzed in bus accident for rehabilitation at Shriners Hospital



One of Canada's young hockey players, paralyzed in a fatal crew bus accident in April, has arrived at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospitals for Children to continue his rehabilitation

Ryan Straschnitzki, 19, and his father, Tom, stood up against 3 in the morning to reach their medical flight from Calgary. Twelve hours later, the ambulance transporting them from Philadelphia International Airport reached the hospital on North Broad Street and was immediately swarmed with reporters and photographers.

"I keep my teammates in my heart and set new goals and challenges every day," Ryan said in the press conference that followed shortly after his arrival and is expected to be in Philadelphia for six to eight weeks.

Ryan suffered one Spinal cord injury, broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a punctured lung and bleeding in his head and pelvis, as the bus collided with the Humboldt Broncos on a semi-highway on April 6. The team, consisting of players between 1

6 and 21 years old , was on the way to a playoff game, sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that the truck was at the intersection when the crash took place, even though the crash is still under investigation News reports.

Since the crash, Ryan has received therapy at the Calgary Foothills Medical Center. The local Shriners extended the family to help him with care, his father said.

Donations and good wishes for the team have arrived from all over Canada and the United States, said Tom Straschnitzki.

"It was a world of support," he said, adding that the families of the players remained close to each other during the ordeal.

In Philadelphia, Ryan receives at least three hours a day of therapy, which will focus on restoring and working as much as possible on everyday skills such as dressing and learning to move from bed to wheelchair and navigating in a wheelchair ,

"We have received his records and found that he is a great candidate for rehab," said Kimberly D. Curran, nurse and care manager at Shriners

The nonprofit Shriners hospitals offer specialized care for spinal cord injuries, orthopedic disorders , Burns and operations on cleft lip and palate. The only Canadian Shriners hospital in Montreal did not offer the specific care that Ryan would need from spinal cord injury, so the family decided to come to Philadelphia, where paralyzed patients are seen every day. Medical transportation was covered by Al-Azhar Shriners of Calgary, a member of Shriners International. Any medical expenses not covered by the family insurance will be covered by the Shriners Endowment Fund.

After about four weeks of inpatient treatment, Ryan will move to an outpatient facility for more rehab, and then he will return to Calgary to continue his treatment. Ryan uses FaceTime to stay in touch with his teammates

Humboldt, the dense farming community with 6,000 spectators, in which the team played, is located in the province of Saskatchewan.

"We are really connected," he said of his team.

A Chicago Black Hawks fan, [ Ryan said he was hoping to play in the National Hockey League.

"It's just that this is not the way for me," he said. "I'll change things, any way I can be involved in the game would be amazing."




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