Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon told media this morning that he's excited to leave the hospital today.
The 20-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect was hospitalized at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital March 1st after he was diagnosed with meningitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of tissue around the brain and spine.
"Obviously I've been through a lot, but since one month, I've improved a lot and I feel way better now," Tim said. "As you can tell, my voice is not 100 per cent recovered. But I feel way better."
Bozon was on a feeding tube for several weeks, and he still finds it difficult to speak. Doctors said he still has months of rehabilitation ahead of him, but he's doing incredibly well.
Bozon will be in B.C. tomorrow to visit his Kootenay Ice teammates. He'll also drop the puck in the ceremonial face off before his team takes on the Calgary Hitmen in WHL playoff action.
Tim's father, Philippe, also spoke to media during the emotional press conference held at the hospital.
"We are so proud of you," Philippe told Tim.
He thanked his son for fighting the illness. He also thanked the people of Saskatoon for their support and he applauded the Ice's quick-thinking trainer for reacting quickly, who he credited to helping save his son's life.
The young player is seen as a rising star in the hockey world, and is a prospect with the Montreal Canadiens. Tim's agent said this morning that it's too early to think about his hockey career, but said his gut feeling is that he'll play in the NHL one day.
Doctors placed the hockey player in a coma and worked to wake him up slowly. Last week, a statement from the Saskatoon Health Region noted Bozon was awake and moving around in his bed. He was also trying to speak and feed himself.
Bozon's family flew from Switzerland to be with him in Saskatoon, where the Ice were in town to take on the Saskatoon Blades.
The WHL has set up a trust fund to help pay for Bozon's medical bills.