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

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: West Coast youth learn the ins and outs of business

Students develop company ‘Wild Coasters’

Cost of living going up while wages are going down in Tofino and Ucluelet

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s Vital Signs Report shows need to diversify economy.

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read