Left: Eighteen-year-old hockey player, Layne Matechuk.
Right: Layne Matechuk enjoying a weekend pass surrounded by family at the lake in August. Photos submitted
Family and supporters all across the country celebrated as Humboldt Broncos player, Layne Matechuk, was released from Saskatoon City Hospital on October 5.
After suffering severe head injuries, brain damage and spending one month in a medically induced coma following the April 6, bus collision, Layne’s recovery process has been outstanding. Layne was able walk out of the hospital after being in care one day short of six months. Layne’s grandfather, George Matechuk (from Vermilion) spent most of the summer there visiting and said, “He was in very good shape which has helped him recuperate. One thing is that his parents are happy now. The whole family is really happy that he is home, and that he is progressing. Layne seems to be a lot happier now that he is home.”
Layne and his family were originally from Colonsay, Saskatchewan and have been staying in Saskatoon this year so that Layne can continue therapy as an outpatient two times per day. According to George, Layne’s mobility is good, but he is still struggling with speech, that will continue slowly coming back.
“He’s improving all the time!” said George.
George noted that Layne likes playing with his dog, Bailey, and can text his sister back and forth all the time.
“They were just like two peas in a pod; they were always close. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t talk to him on the phone. One day she said, ‘Layne, I love you.’ After receiving no response she said, ‘I love you very much,’ and he said, ‘No, I love you more!’”
This summer, he was able to get a weekend pass to go with his family to the cabin.
“He used to go there a lot and spend a lot of time. He was a great wake boarder and surfer (his summer passions). When he saw the cabin he smiled! Being at the lake was a big turning point in his recovery,” said George.
According to George, Layne had a feeding tube until two months ago, but he has since regained his ability to eat. George felt that being Thanksgiving, Layne’s release from hospital happened on the right weekend.
“Getting out of the hospital setting has really given Layne a boost. We are very thankful! The community here has been great, and in Colonsay they were exceptionally supportive of the family and still are.
Since he has been home, Layne has kept the smile on his face and continues to be really happy!” concluded George.