A note to Ryan Straschnitzki, Humboldt survivor, from Josh Hargis, Afghanistan combat veteran and Team USA sled hockey player:
Hey Ryan. Josh Hargis. I play for the Colorado Avalanche sled teams and I’m a forward on the US National Development team. Just wanted to say “Hey” and hope you’re doing well. I was really sorry to hear about you and your teammates-it tore up the entire hockey community. But, I’m really looking forward to you getting into sled hockey and can’t wait to see you on the ice. Hopefully we’ll be playing against you one day. Hope you’re doing well, man. Keep getting after it!
Ryan suffered a spinal injury in the Humboldt bus crash that left him paralyzed from the mid-chest down. His recovery is going well, and he is determined to continue playing hockey as a sled hockey player and has also set his sights on walking again.
As quoted in an April 25th article in The Canadian Press, Ryan’s father Tom has suggested that Ryan’s recovery is very much like hockey, saying “We just take it, like I tell Ryan, shift by shift. We’re still in the first period, the fourth shift in, so we’ve still got a full game to go. That’s how we take it.”
He began playing sled hockey as he adapted to life as a double amputee and has been supported by the Semper Fi Fund Recovery Through Sports program. Josh aspires to make the US National team and represent his country in the ParaOlympic games.
He was recently featured on the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.