Edmonton hockey player Jesse Martin says he is making a remarkable recovery after breaking his neck in a U.S. college game less than three weeks ago.
The 22-year-old, formerly with Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, walked into a news conference in a Colorado hospital Tuesday wearing a neck brace and halo.
He has regained feeling in his arms and legs.
"I'm feeling like one of the most grateful people on the planet right now," he said. "I can't even express how humbling this experience has been for me.
"Just as far as walking through this hospital, and seeing people with similar injuries and seeing how differently it could have gone."
Still loves hockey
The University of Denver forward was playing against the University of North Dakota on Oct. 30 when a devastating body check broke his neck.
Last week, surgeons put a screw in Martin’s vertebrae.
Despite the injury, Martin said he still loves hockey.
"I think it's one of the greatest games you can play. As much as I've given to hockey, it's given even more back to me. It's given me an education at the university.
"I would never ever hold hockey responsible for any of that, I have zero anger towards that."
Martin could be released from hospital as early as next week.
Doctors predict he will make a full recovery.Martin is a draft pick of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. He attended St. Francis Xavier High School in Edmonton and played junior hockey in Spruce Grove.