Former Boston University hockey player Travis Roy, who was paralyzed after an injury in 1995 and became a philanthropist for spinal cord injury treatment, has died at 45.
Roy suffered a career-ending injury as a 20-year-old freshman just 11 seconds into his college hockey career in 1995-96. He crashed headfirst into the boards after checking an opponent from North Dakota, and the accident left him as a quadriplegic.
"His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he was a role model and a hero to so many people", a school statement said. His impact as a motivational speaker and advocate for those with spinal chord injuries lasted the rest of his life.
The son of a ME hockey rink manager who began skating when he was 20 months old, Roy went to North Yarmouth Academy and Tabor Academy before enrolling at BU.
Roy, who was paralyzed from the neck down, had dedicated his life to those with spinal cord injuries, to helping improve their lives through the Travis Roy Foundation.
The hockey world took to social media to remember Roy with an outpouring of warm messages and condolences.
"The Bruins offer honest condolences to the Roy family, the Travis Roy Foundation, Boston University, and all of those who knew and loved Travis Roy".
"Travis Roy was the ultimate symbol of determination and courage, " former Bruins star and current team president Cam Neely said.
"Travis Roy, you were my friend, mentor, role model and the most positive person I knew", Jablonski, who was born the week of Roy's injury, said on Twitter.
His personality and his story touched people throughout hockey, New England and all of sports. "You have forever changed the SCI and hockey community".
Boston University retired Roy's No. 24 in 1999, making him the first hockey player in the school's history to have their number retired. U r my hero. "I want to be a part of putting an end to paralysis". Coach Jack Parker is an inductee in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame; Olympic hero Mike Eruzione was an assistant coach.
"I was on ice at 20 months old", Roy said.
"I look at it as my life has objective", Roy said.
"There's times when it's kind of fun to think about it", he said.
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