Ryan Straschnitzki was able to move his legs after an experimental surgery he underwent in Thailand. The Humboldt Broncos player was one of the lucky few who survived the tragedy, but he was left paralyzed from the waist down. The emotional moment was captured by his family, and fans on social media are just as excited about his recovery.
The Humbolt Broncos play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, and they were making a trip that they have done countless times before. On April 6, 2018, their bus, which carried 29 members of the team, collided with a semi-trailer truck on the highway. The accident killed 16 players and left 13 more seriously injured. The RCMP charged the driver of the truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, with 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily injury. He pleaded guilty to the charges, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison.
After doctors in Thailand implanted an epidural stimulator in his spine, Ryan Straschnitzki was able to move his own legs for the first time since the Humboldt Broncos bus crash 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ooBa77UmhZ— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) November 7, 2019
20-year-old Straschnitzki was one of the few who survived, but the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was flown to Thailand to receive an experimental surgery in an attempt to undo the damage. Last Monday, Thai doctors implanted an epidural stimulator in his spine, and it is designed to send electrical currents down the spinal cord to stimulate the nerves.
What happened next was amazing. Ryan was able to begin moving his legs, and he even almost kicked his therapist. His family witnessed the emotional moment, and they all cried tears of joy. Excitedly, the young man asked his therapist if he can go work out at the gym, and of course he was denied. All jokes aside, he did overcome an awful situation, and he’s very happy he has gained some mobility back.
While the surgery was successful, it is unlikely he will be 100% back to his former self. The accident did a lot of irreversible damage, and the implant simply makes do with the situation. He hopes to compete in Canada’s Paralympics as a player for their national sledge hockey team. With some rehab and a lot of support from his family, Straschnitzki can finally get back on the ice.