Misty, along with Rick’s family followed the ambulance to St. Boniface Hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Rick had already been taken to an emergency area for examination and treatment. Rick’s family and Misty were asked to find seats in the waiting room. Only about four other people were there before them. A couple of them were watching CNN on the widescreen tv while the other two looked worried and carried on a quiet conversation.
In approximately one hour the admitting nurse called the family in to talk to the doctor. They shook hands with the young intern who introduced himself.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Olafson. I’ll be Rick’s attending physician this evening. Rick told that his injuries occurred at the St. Vital arena where he was hammered into the boards by an opposing player.”
“That’s correct,” Rick’s father replied. “Only I wouldn’t refer to the kid who assaulted him as an opposing player. He’s a goon. I have a strong suspicion that he took orders from his coach to try to injure Rick. My son is the Cougars’ star goalie and Norberry knew that they would not win the game with Rick in goal.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” said the young doctor. “I once played junior hockey myself and I know that these types of incidents happen far too often. There are a few really bad coaches that will do anything to win a game.”
“How are you doing Rick?” Misty asked. She was wiping the tears from her eyes when she saw Rick grimace with pain.
“I’ll live,” Rick answered. “I just hope that the team gets good and mad and beats Norberry. I hope that Miles doesn’t get too nervous and plays well in goal.”
The young intern, Dr. Olafson addressed the family, “We’ve run several tests and taken x-rays. Fortunately, there won’t be any permanent damage to Rick’s neck or back. However, he does have quite a few nasty contusions on his body. The best treatment for these will be ice, Tylenol 3’s and rest. There is one serious concern I have regarding your son’s injuries.”
“What specifically?” Rick’s mother asked with a worried look on her face.
“Rick has suffered a concussion. I don’t foresee any permanent consequences. However, I may not be able to say the same if your son suffers another concussion during this season. I know that the final decision is up to Rick and the family. But my recommendation would be that Rick sit out the rest of this season.”
“No way!” Rick said sitting up in his hospital bed. “The Cougars need me to be there number one goalie this season. We have a chance to be city champions.”
“I understand your loyalty to your team. If you insist upon returning this season, I must order you not to play for the next three weeks.” Dr. Olafson said.