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‘Kind of lacking’: Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

‘Kind of lacking’: Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery
Canada
Straschnitzki was one of 13 players injured when a semi truck blew through a stop sign and into the path of his junior hockey team’s bus at a rural intersection in Saskatchewan in April 2018.

Sixteen others on the bus were killed.

“When I actually saw him move his leg, it just took me back to imagining his last steps going onto that bus on that fateful day. And I was just thinking maybe he can go back on the bus one day,” he said.

The surgery can cost up to $100,000 but isn’t covered by public health care or insurance, because it has not been approved by Health Canada. The Straschnitzkis say they’re frustrated the treatment isn’t available here.

Ryan Straschnitzki hopes his experience might at least get the conversation going.

“Our health-care system is kind of lacking in this area for spinal cord injuries and I think it’s huge that Thailand and some other places are getting this started,” he said.

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program, I think it’ll help a lot of people out.”

Humboldt Broncos hockey player paralyzed in bus crash to get spinal surgery in Thailand

Tom and Michelle Straschnitzki said they have been flooded with comments and questions about their son’s procedure.

“They want to try it and ask why doesn’t Canada do it? I don’t have the answer about Canada but they do it in Thailand and it is not experimental,” said Tom Straschnitzki.

Health Canada has said it provides licensed spinal cord stimulators but only for pain relief. A spokesman said it has not received an application to have stimulators used to regain motor skills.

Ryan Straschnitzki said he isn’t expecting a cure but hopes his implant will restore some muscle movement.

“Just getting that feeling of being able to move something that I wasn’t able to move before _ and I know core is a huge part of my disability, so anything below my chest is crucial. And after the programming it really helped,” he said.

Hey Kitt. We made er home. Thanks for everything. And hope to see you guys SOON. https://t.co/R5LX0XNoAh

Straschnitzki is hoping to make the Canadian sledge hockey team and compete in the Olympics. He even took his sled with him to Thailand and sat in it as part of his rehabilitation there.
Read more on globalnews.ca
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