Ryan Straschnitzki was paralyzed from the chest down in the Broncos bus crash on April 6. (The Canadian Press)

‘You’ve gotta try it:’ Teen paralyzed in Humboldt crash goes to U.S. for treatment

Ryan Straschnitzki is heading to Philadelphia for specialized spinal treatment, with Shriners’ help

A young hockey player who was paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is heading to the United States for specialized spinal treatment.

Ryan Straschnitzki, who has been getting physiotherapy twice a day at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre, is scheduled to board a medical flight Wednesday for Philadelphia, where he will continue his rehabilitation at the Shriners Hospital for Children.

“The Shriners reached out a couple of weeks ago,” said Ryan’s father, Tom Straschnitzki. “He offered to have the Shriners make Ryan a Shriners Kid so he could go to Philly for spinal rehab there instead of staying here.

“It’s a big time boost. He’s very excited. It’s fantastic news. We haven’t been there but we’ve heard about it, so you’ve gotta try it.”

The 19-year-old was paralyzed from the chest down when a bus carrying the Saskatchewan junior hockey team was in a collision with a semi-trailer on a rural highway April 6.

The Shriners launched America’s first pediatric spinal cord injury rehabilitation program in 1983. They say their program includes a wide range of rehabilitation aimed at building strength, confidence and ”independence to the fullest extent possible.”

“They still have to assess when we get there. It’s just better. There’s more advanced technology than here,” Tom Straschnitzki said.

“When the Shriners ask you and are going to do this for you, I don’t think you say no.”

READ MORE: Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims

READ MORE: More than 3,000 attend Humboldt Broncos hockey player funeral

A private plane, equipped with a paramedic and a nurse, will accompany Ryan and his father to Philadelphia. The Shriners are covering the cost of the trip and the treatment.

Straschnitzki said his son will be in Philadelphia for between six to eight weeks. His life is likely to change once again when he returns to Canada.

“He should be going home by then,” his father said. “Once he can do it on his own, they’ll send him home, and then he’ll do rehab here in Calgary.”

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: he suffered a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung and bleeding in his head and pelvis.

The collision is still being investigated.

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured. RCMP have only said the truck was in the intersection when the crash occurred.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

POLL: Do you use the bus system regularly

Question of the week, July 17

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Most Read