Braden Pettinger is making steady, but slow progress in his recovery after he fractured his neck falling in game last November, his family says.
“He continues to work hard to strengthen his arm muscles which he has movement in and remains very positive that he will get a little more recovery every time,” his uncle, Rob Pettinger told CBC.
Pettinger has been in hospital since Nov. 12. He fractured his C5 vertebra in several places after colliding with the boards at a Portage la Prairie Terriers game in the MTS Iceplex.
“He has feeling in the upper muscles of his biceps and forearms and has good movement. He works in rehab every day on those arm muscles and just getting them stronger. This is something he didn’t have immediately after the accident,” said Pettinger.
His family said they don’t know when Braden will leave the hospital. He will be in rehab for quite some time. His parents have been living in Winnipeg since the accident and are with him every day at the Health Sciences Centre.
Pettinger said support from the community is helping Braden stay positive. Letters, cards, messages and money have been coming in from across the country.
“Literally from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. And what is so incredible is that these aren’t people who know Braden. Many are complete strangers,” Pettinger said.
A GoFundMe page raised just over $150,000. A Boxing Day social in Souris came up with an additional $90,000. Teams across the country have rallied and held fundraisers.
Another fundraising social will be held March 5, in Braden’s home town of Elgin.