Outpouring of community support for injured young hockey player

A group of Anthony MacDonald's team mates traveled to Halifax to wish him well last weekend.

PORT HAWKESBURY: After getting injured during practice, a high school hockey player is on the road to recovery.

On November 10, Anthony MacDonald was hit in the head with a puck during a SAERC Saints practice at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

“I was on the ice with him and I took him immediately to the Strait Richmond Hospital where that incredible staff of nurses and doctor knew this was serious, and he, with his mom by his side, was airlifted to the IWK in Halifax,” his father Mark posted on Facebook last week.

After a CT scan confirmed a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain, Anthony was taken into surgery, then remained sedated to minimize brain activity and allow it to heal properly.

On November 14, Mark posted that Anthony was awake, he was off most of his medications, and his breathing tube was removed. On Monday, his father posted that Anthony was moving around, then the next day, Mark confirmed his son was scheduled to be released on Thursday.

Mark said the family has been in close contact with the staff at SAERC, especially his hockey and basketball teammates, and Anthony’s co-workers at Tim Horton’s reached out.

“We are completely overwhelmed, and humbled by outpouring of love and support Anthony has been receiving,” Mark said in his Facebook post. “It would be impossible to thank everybody, but know that from both of us, at some point you will all know how thankful we truly are.”

Pictured are Anthony (left) and Mark MacDonald.

Not just the Strait area, Mark said his and their family have received a lot of moral support from the athletic community, including Bob MacKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, Darren Pang, Craig Simpson, Ray Ferraro, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, James Duthie and David Amber.

“The hockey and sporting world is much the same; a fraternity, a band of brothers, a family,” Mark posted. “Anthony loves his sports. He’s a fierce competitor, but first and foremost for him is that he is very well known being fantastic teammate. The support he has received from the sporting world is truly a testament to that. When he is able to see all of these messages and posts, he is going to be over the moon.”

A GoFundMe page created to help on this long road to recovery – which includes a procedure at the IWK in December and rehabilitation – can be found at: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/h3pmhd-anthonys-road-to-recovery.