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Brian Page Jr., paralyzed in 2020 hockey game, a Flyers guest Sunday

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Brian Page, Little Flyers
Brian Page, a Delaware resident, skates with the Amarillo Bulls in the North American Hockey League. He was paralyzed in 2020. Photo: Page family.

Brian Page Jr., the Little Flyers hockey player who was paralyzed while playing in a game 17 months ago, and three family members will be a special guests at the Philadelphia Flyers’ 4 p.m. home game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A Magnolia, Del., resident, Page, now 18, has always been a Penguins fan because his father grew up near Pittsburgh. But he also is a fan of the Flyers – except when they play Sidney Crosby and Co.

When the Flyers faced the Penguins on Jan. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center, Crosby skated over to Page during  the pregame warmup and gave him a puck. Page was wearing a Crosby jersey. Crosby’s gesture was caught on video, and it has received over 10 million views on various platforms.

Page and Rehoboth Beach’s Gavin Birl were recently honored by the Adam Taliaferro Foundation with courage awards during a banquet at the Tavistock Country Club. Page’s parents, Brian Sr. and Joan, his grandparents, and one of the Little Flyers coaches, Bill Hammond, who frequently comes to Page’s house to help him do therapy exercises, attended the event.

Water work

After he was injured, Page worked tirelessly at Magee Hospital, and he now undergoes aqua care, a series of water exercises, twice a week. “It’s really beneficial to him and is just a different way of doing physical therapy,” said his father, Brian Sr., who is a Delaware state trooper.

Page will soon go back to Magee to be fitted for a standing frame, which can reduce the frequency of getting pressure sores from sitting, or eliminate them. His father said it’s “good for his blood pressure, and it’s obviously good to stretch his spine out.”

 

Page was a good enough hockey player that he had signed a tender agreement to play in the North American Hockey League.

Down the road, his junior-level coach said, the 6-foot, 160-pound center/winger had the ability to play for a major college, many of which were recruiting him. If all went according to plan, he would get drafted and one day reach the NHL.

Those dreams were shattered and his life was forever changed when Page absorbed an on-ice hit Nov. 15, 2020, and was paralyzed from the chest down.

Playing for the Little Flyers – a squad from Aston that is not affiliated with the NHL team, but was granted permission to use the name – Page skated into the offensive zone in a tournament game in Trenton. Ashe cut between two defenders, and absorbed what he called a clean hit to the chest and went down to the ice.

His mother raced onto the ice before an ambulance arrived.

“Mama,” he said, “I can’t feel my legs. I’m never playing hockey again.”

Since then, Page has made progress. He is getting stronger each day, according to his dad. “Every day he’s able to have more mobility and strength in his arms,” Brian Page Sr. said. “And transferring from his bed to a wheelchair is a lot easier. He did sit up in bed one day.  That was an accomplishment that he had not done yet.”

Through it all, Brian Page Jr., a low-keyed individual who graduated from high school last year and plans to attend college in the near future, has been a profile in courage.

“There’ are no words to describe how positive he is,” his dad said, proudly, “and just how wonderful it is to be around him.”

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