Hockey world embraces young North Bay hockey player as he battles stroke and blood clots
NORTH BAY -- Noah Dugas has left a mark in the hearts of the entire hockey world. Dugas, a 13-year-old defenceman who played for the North Bay Trappers major peewee AAA team, is battling some serious health issues.
“Noah is a super great kid,” said his uncle, Glen Gravelle. “He’s super loving. He was a leader as the assistant captain of his team and he is really loved by all."
Back in March, during a game with the Trappers, Dugas began feeling unwell.
After treatment in Ottawa, he was brought to Toronto’s Sick Kids hospital, where he began losing mobility in his arms and legs. Doctors believe he had a blood clot in his brain which led to a stroke.
“We're really just concerned for his health and him getting through his rehab and getting things back together,” said Gravelle. “In due time, he'll be back on the ice. We're sure of it."
The family said Noah was put in a coma to prevent further damage. He was brought out of the coma and the family is hoping to move him to the Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Centre in Toronto to continue receiving treatment.
Noah’s cousin, Megan, put out a plea for support on Twitter, which has since gone viral. NHL players, teams, fans, hockey personalities as well as Olympic athletes have responded.
"They're a wonderful community -- they’re a family, I like to call them,” said Gravelle, thanking everyone who sent messages. “We can't say thank you enough to the outpouring of positive vibes and prayers."
Noah’s family and teammates are hoping he will be able to get back on the ice soon playing the game he loves so much.
“Everybody wants to be friends with Noah,” said Marc Long, his hockey coach. “You're a fighter on the ice and you're going to get through this, and not even just the hockey community, but everybody is here for you bud."
The family said donations are being encouraged. Anyone wanting to donate to Noah’s cause can E-transfer funds to firstname.lastname@example.org.