Cole captivated by Canucks
Last night brought with it an unparalleled thrill for 11-year-old Cole Hoodicoff, of Castlegar, who lost the use of his legs in a devastating skiing accident Jan. 3.
The young man and his father, Brad, were given ice-side tickets to a Canucks game, and while Vancouver lost to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2, the outing was very much a win for the Hoodicoffs. “We had tons of fun,” said Brad in an interview today. “(Going out) is still a bit of a challenge, because Cole’s experiencing some abdominal pain, which is holding him back a bit. Other than that, his recovery is moving along nicely, and he’s still in positive spirits. “It’s getting easier.” Brad said Cole’s days are chalk-full – he’s getting physiotherapy, occupational therapy, doing weight work-outs, swimming every week, and even catching up on his schoolwork with a tutor. “His schooling is going very well,” Brad said. “His teacher said there will be no problem with him keeping up (with his classmates back home) because he’s so intelligent and has such a good attitude.” Cole is now using a smaller, sleeker wheelchair, which is great for his recreational time and outings like his trip to the mall, and dinner with his Mom, and so on. Brad further said the support of the community has been a huge help in allowing Brad and Amy to support and encourage their son as he transitions to this new phase in his life. “We’re both here (at he coast with Cole) from Monday to Friday, then we switch off weekends,” he said, explaining one parent is with Cole every weekend, while the other heads back to Castlegar to be with Cole’s two younger siblings. “Thanks to everyone’s help and generosity, we’re managing okay with the back-and-forth travelling.” He also said the staff at the recovery hospital have been fantastic, anticipating Cole’s needs and offering understanding and support for Cole and his family, while ensuring there’s playtime and fun to be had despite the very serious work Cole is doing. “His short-term goals include working on sitting up by himself, so he can learn to transfer himself from his bed to his chair,” Brad said. There’s a fun surprise in store for Cole, too, when Mountain FM radio celebrity “Drex” heads to the coast on vacation. He’s taking Cole, along with 10-year-old Corbin Lew (who is receiving treatment for brain cancer), for a day at a very popular Vancouver tourist attraction – although he refused to disclose which one. “I can’t tell you that – I want it to be a surprise,” Drex said. Donations are still being accepted for Cole’s two trust funds, at Twin Rivers Elementary School or the Station Museum downtown.