Humboldt Bronco to return to Airdrie after hospital stays in Saskatoon, Calgary and Philadelphia

News source from CTV News

Nearly three months after the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus was involved in a tragic crash on a Saskatchewan highway, Ryan ‘Straz’ Straschnitzki will be returning to his hometown of Airdrie.

The 19-year-old was paralyzed from the chest down in the April 6 crash at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 335 while his team was travelling to Nipawin for Game 5 of their semi-final playoff series with the Hawks. The collision involving the bus of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team and a semi tractor-trailer has claimed 16 members of the team including players, coaches and support staff.

Straschnitzki spent nearly two weeks in hospital in Saskatoon, including time in a unit with several of his injured teammates, before being airlifted on April 19 to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary to continue his treatment.

The paralyzed hockey player was transported via medevac flight to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 31 for specialized treatment of his spinal injury. His parents and three siblings have been in Philadelphia with him during his time in hospital that’s including numerous physiotherapy sessions as well as visits with members of the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and an appearance at a Philadelphia Phillies game.

Straschnitzki’s time at the Shriners Hospital for Children was briefly interrupted by a trip to Las Vegas where he and several other surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos were honoured at the NHL Awards

The treatment in Philadelphia was expected to last for six to eight weeks but Straschnitzki progressed ahead of schedule and the 19-year-old was released from hospital. The family arrived at the Calgary International Airport late Wednesday afternoon.

Renovations to the Straschnitzki’s Airdrie home to accommodate Ryan’s wheelchair have not been completed and the family will stay in a hotel until their house is wheelchair accessible.

With files from CTV’s Brenna Rose

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