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

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Alberni Valley Vintage Tractor Club contributes to charity

Funds raised from hay sales go towards BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

Most Read