A Broken Season


Adriana Rodriguez

On Jan. 6, it was just like any other game at the Midwest Ice Arena, however something changed the rest of the season for Jack Stokes (10) . Stokes suffered from not only a spiral tibia break, but a small break in his fibula, and a fractured growth plate in his ankle.

“The coach had to change around the lines that we are all used to playing with and as a player it’s hard to make it to some of the games considering I can’t really walk. The first couple of days I went to to support the team I was in my wheelchair and had to sit away from the team. After a couple of weeks I began to bring my crutches instead of the wheelchair,so now I sit on the bench with my teammates. Cheering for my team on the sidelines and even being close up on the bench with them is hard because not being able to actually express the way I feel about not playing is hard. Not being on the ice is what hurts the most. Hockey was a way I took out emotions,” Stokes said.

With the many challenges Jack faced within hockey and his team, he also was confronted with many struggles having to do with both his school and personal lives.

“As it affects my school life that’s been hard as well; not going to school for two weeks at the beginning of the new semester. Coming back to school was an adjustment due to the fact that everyone was looking and asking if I was okay. Being in a wheelchair was also hard cause I can’t get around on my own. I need help getting in and out of the car, help going to the bathroom, and [it’s] hard just not being able to do things I did in my daily life. It’s frustrating not being able to go out like I used to with friends on the weekends; everyone just comes to me. I’ve gone out more since the surgery, but it’s still hard because I either need my sister or my parents to be there with me,” Stokes said

With the support of those closest to him, Jack is able to persevere through the various challenges he faces through his journey to recovery.

“It’s helpful that my friends and family are so supportive due to the injury that they don’t mind helping me and they always try to make me comfortable. Within my opinion, I believe my parents and my sister have been the biggest supporters since day 1 of the injury. I got carried off the ice by two of my teammates and then carried into the locker room by my father. My mom and sister were the first ones in the locker room other than my dad. When in the hospital my mom and sister stayed with me over night and even brought their work and school work there to spend some time with me. I was never alone. Still to this day my sister is willing to take me wherever I want to go and is always there to try and get me out of the house and be apart of a lot. My parents are always here to make sure I’m keeping up with school and even make me feel comfortable. They’ve helped me take showers and be sure that I’m getting the exercise I need to stay in shape for the next season of hockey,” Stokes said.