Brian Page Jr., paralyzed in a 2020 hockey game, guest of the Flyers on Sunday

Brian Page Jr., the Little Flyers hockey player who was paralyzed in a game 17 months ago, and three members of his family will be special guests at the Philadelphia Flyers’ home game at 4 p.m. Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A Magnolia, Del., Page resident, now 18, has always been a Penguins fan because his father grew up near Pittsburgh. But he’s also a Flyers fan – except when they face Sidney Crosby and Co.

When the Flyers played the Penguins on January 6 at the Wells Fargo Center, Crosby skated to Page during the pregame warmup and gave him a puck. Page wore a Crosby sweater. Crosby’s gesture was filmed and it received over 10 million views on various platforms.

Page and Gavin Birl of Rehoboth Beach were recently honored by the Adam Taliaferro Foundation with Courage Awards at a banquet at the Tavistock Country Club. Attended the event were Page’s parents, Brian Sr. and Joan, his grandparents and one of the Little Flyers coaches, Bill Hammond, who comes to Page frequently to help with therapy exercises. .

water work

After being injured, Page worked tirelessly at Magee Hospital, and he now undergoes aquatic care, a series of aquatic exercises, twice a week. “It’s really beneficial for him and it’s just a different way of doing physical therapy,” said his father, Brian Sr., who is a Delaware State Trooper.

Page will soon be returning to Magee to be fitted with a standing frame, which may reduce the frequency of pressure ulcers while sitting or eliminate them. Her dad said it was “good for her blood pressure, and it’s obviously good for stretching her spine.”

Page was a good enough hockey player to have signed a tender contract to play in the North American Hockey League.

Later, his junior-level coach said, the 6-foot, 160-pound center/winger had the ability to play for a big university, many of whom were recruiting him. If all went according to plan, he would be drafted and one day make it to the NHL.

Those dreams were shattered and his life changed forever when Page absorbed a blow on ice on November 15, 2020 and was paralyzed from the chest down.

Playing for the Little Flyers – an Aston team that is not affiliated with the NHL team, but was granted permission to use the name – Page skated in the offensive zone during a game of tournament in Trenton. Ashe cut between two defenders and absorbed what he called a free kick to the chest and came down to the ice.

His mother ran onto the ice before an ambulance arrived.

“Mom,” he said, “I can’t feel my legs anymore.” I will never play hockey again.

Since then, Page has made progress. He is getting stronger every day, according to his father. “Every day he is able to have more mobility and strength in his arms,” ​​said Brian Page Sr. “And transferring from bed to a wheelchair is much easier.” He sat up in bed one day. It was a feat he had yet to accomplish. »

Through it all, Brian Page Jr., a low-key individual who graduated high school last year and plans to go to college in the near future, has been a profile of courage.

“There are no words to describe how positive he is,” his father said proudly, “and how wonderful it is to be around him.”

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Catherine J. Martinez