Injured Pioneer Martin ‘lucky to be here, happy to be here’
For University o Denver hockey standout Jesse Martin, the biggest dierence in his lie may havebeen made by a tiny sliver o bone.Martin, 22, was looking to get the puck out o his own zone in the second period o an Oct. 30game at rival North Dakota when the puck started to come o his stick. He tried to corral it, lookeddown, and was slammed by onrushing North Dakota orward Brad Malone.On Nov. 16, less than three weeks ater the collision, Martin spoke at a press conerence at CraigHospital.“I just lost [the puck] a little bit and then it ended up kind o sliding to the slot,” Martin recalled. “Youknow as a center the last thing you want to do is give that opportunity up so I kind o reached or it, andlet mysel in a very vulnerable position, and I didn’t see Malone coming at all.“All o a sudden I’m on the ground, on the ice, and I’m in this position that is like, it’s one you wouldnever fnd yoursel in, like your arm is bent, kind o in a weird way, and that surprised me that I’m still in that position and why am I not moving out o this position? So I thought maybe I was winded. I endedup realizing that I wasn’t winded and I started to get a little bit concerned that I can’t move my arms, andI tried to move my legs to get up and that didn’t happen.”Martin had suered three ractures to the C-2 vertebra in his neck. Doctors told him most people who suer that kind o injury in a high-speed accident die. O those who don’t die, most are paralyzed.O those who aren’t ully paralyzed, many never ully recover.For Martin, the saving grace may have been a tiny sliver o bone.“The way they described it is like a cigar cutter, your two vertebrae, and the only reason they didn’t just go across [and sever the spine] is because when it ractured, a chip o the vertebrae came down and was stuck in the vertebra and didn’t allow it to go across,” Martin said. “That would be the reason I didn’tend up in another situation.”Martin said he asked a doctor i his luck was like winning the Powerball lottery drawing. The doctor told him no, it was like hitting the Powerball twice.“For [the doctor] to say it’s like winning it twice, you can’t even come to grips with how lucky youare … It’s overwhelming.”Looking ahead, Martin says he plans to head back to his home in Edmonton, Alberta, to continuehis physical training. Then he plans to come back to DU or the winter quarter, continue his studies andsupport the Pioneers.>>http://blogs.du.edu/today/?p=16698>>http://blogs.du.edu/today/?p=17184
Jesse Martin, with Coach George Gwozdecky (pictured left) and his father, Terry (right), spoke toreporters Nov. 16.
Online readercommentsto Jesse Martin
All o our best or a sae recoveryand plentiul uture. Yourunortunate injury reminds uso what is really important inlie and is inspiration or all.Although rivals on the ice we areall in this together.
—U of M Gophers
Best wishes rom Canada; hardwork and dedication that got youto DU will get you through yourrehab and a ull recovery. All thebest Jesse.
Jesse, as you look back on thisover the years I believe you willfnd that this moment will be thedirect source o so many goodthings that you have comingto you. Harness the energythat surrounds you and takeeverything that you can romthis situation. Thank you andyour team or everything youhave given me over the years!Godspeed my riend!
Get well soon; there are many,many people ollowing yourprogress and keeping you in theirthoughts.
Great to see that you are up andwalking already. Just take it easy— no need to get on the ice anytime soon. Your teammates willhave your back.
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