In January of 2010, high school hockey player Matt Brown of Norwood, Mass., broke his neck on a collision with the boards. The incident left him paralyzed from the chest down. It was 102 days before he was released from rehab to return home.
Brown has since become close with the Boston Bruins organization and their players, who have raised money for his treatment and equipment at the annual Matt Brown Gala, hosted by the Boston Bruins Foundation and the TD Garden. This year, the Foundation was able to provide Brown with a state-of-the-art wheelchair that allowed him to stand upright, and Brown debuted that wheelchair at Saturday's tilt between the Bruins and the New York Islanders, dropping the ceremonial puck to a standing ovation from the 17,565 fans in attendance:
The new wheelchair will help Brown with day-to-day functions, as well as remedying some of the issues posed by the "sip and puff" wheelchair he was given in 2010, such as potential skin problems. From Wicked Local:
"The wheelchair drives and tilts," Brown said. "There is a button by my head to tilt. If I sip (on a straw attached to the chair) hard, it goes back, a hard puff drives it forward, a soft puff moves it right, and a soft sip moves left. It took a while to get used to."
Every 30 minutes he has to do a "weight shift," where he tilts the chair back for two minutes.
"It prevents skin breakdown," Susan Brown, Matt's mother, said.
Brown will also be using the new wheelchair to participate in the Boston Marathon, with the help of friend and Army Ranger Lucas Carr. From Bruins.com:
Carr will push Brown's wheelchair in this year's Boston Marathon on April 16. The duo, which will join the Boston Bruins marathon team to raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation, recently took part in the Hyannis Marathon.
The Army Ranger pushed Brown from beginning to end and crossed the finish line in the time necessary to qualify for the upcoming Boston Marathon.
Just a great story here.
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