Layne Matechuk suffered a traumatic brain injury when the Humboldt Broncos bus was blindsided by a semi-truck on April 6, 2018.
His family released a statement on the 18-year-old’s condition back in September as he continued to recover from his injuries at City Hospital in Saskatoon.
The Matechuk family provided this update on Layne’s recovery, and one of their favourite pictures. Our thoughts remain with them, and the Gobeils in their continuing battle, and all of the other families affected by this tragedy. #Humboldtstrong pic.twitter.com/sveqDzN0uM— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 5, 2018
“His main obstacle is his brain injury,” the statement says. “Layne is getting stronger every day but is struggling getting his speech back.”
“Layne is also working on getting full mobility with his right side, leg is pretty good but right hand has tremors and does not have full use yet.”
In October, Matechuk was finally released from hospital and has been continuing his lengthy road to recovery since then.
While the Colonsay, Sask. native has a long way to go, he hit a major and surely emotional milestone on Tuesday when he returned to the ice for the first time in nine months.
“After nine months, (Layne) returned to the rink to skate for the first time since the accident,” tweeted his dad, Kevin. “Thank you Greg Slobosian for helping Layne. Could not be more proud of Layne!”
A pair of videos show the defenseman wearing his #28 Broncos jersey and Broncos helmet as he skates down the ice, both pushing and using a hockey net for support.
Another shows him taking a few of shots from the slot.
After 9 months @LayneMatechuk returned to the rink to skate for the first time since the accident. Thank you Greg Slobosian for helping Layne. Could not be more proud of Layne! #Believe pic.twitter.com/iD8gADwvXa— Kevin (@KevinMatechuk) January 8, 2019
The tweets were met with thousands of retweets and likes, along with dozens of comments expressing an array of emotions that were hitting people across Canada and the world.
“That’s pure courage and determination,” said one commenter, while another added that “this is amazing. What a true inspiration.”