Injured Humboldt Bronco Ryan Straschnitzki continues to defy the odds
CALGARY -- Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos hockey player Ryan Straschnitzki continues to defy the odds in terms of recovery.
A video posted to social media Friday morning by Straschnitzki's father, Tom, shows the 20-year-old being able to move his left leg enough to kick a large, yellow ball.
The Airdrie man has made continued progress since undergoing spinal surgery in Thailand a month ago.
Doctors implanted an epidural stimulator in Straschnitzki's spine, then injected stem cells above and below the injury a week later to try to reverse some of the damage.
He is expected to return home to Airdrie in the coming days.
“It's been progressively getting better and harder at the same time, which is good. They put me through a good sweat, doing a couple of laps around the buildings. It's good work,” Straschnitzki said in an interview from Bangkok with The Canadian Press.
Earlier video of his rehab showed him straightening one of his legs. Another showed him strapped into a harness as physiotherapists slowly helped him walk with the use of a wheeled machine.
Straschnitzki was one of 13 players injured when a truck driver ran a stop sign and went into the path of the Saskatchewan junior team's bus. Sixteen people were killed.
He was paralyzed from the chest down.
With files from The Canadian Press