This young hockey player returned to the ice 2 months after foot amputation

·3 min read

Growing up, Logan Munden had always wanted to grab a hockey stick and get out on the ice.

"I wanted to play hockey like my friends, but I couldn't because of my disability," the 11-year-old Fall River, N.S., resident told CBC's Information Morning.

Logan has arthrogryposis, which means he has multiple joint contractures. He was born with two club feet, his right knee doesn't bend completely, and his right hip is dislocated.

He tried skating when he was younger, but that didn't work because his right leg faced outward, which wasn't comfortable for him.

When he was five, Logan discovered sledge hockey, also known as para hockey — a way he could play the sport he loved without having to stand at all.

"It's exactly like normal hockey, but you're sitting down and it's mostly upper body strength and ab strength," Logan explained.

Submitted by Linda Munden
Submitted by Linda Munden

Logan has been playing sledge hockey for a few years, but just over a year ago, he was faced with a new challenge.

His mom, Linda, said one of his feet began to club again and get sore. When they brought him to the IWK Health Centre to see if they could straighten it again, they were told the blood flow in his foot was compromised and there would be significant risks to getting that surgery.

After a year of discussion with Logan's doctors, the family decided that amputation was the best route, "and really, at that point in time, was the only route for us to get Logan's pain to go away, which is what was holding him back," said Linda.

Submitted by Linda Munden
Submitted by Linda Munden

Logan's foot was amputated in October, and originally he was worried about when he would be able to play his favourite sport again.

But over the winter, just two months after the surgery, he was back on the ice.

"It was amazing. I loved it so much," Logan said.

'I hope he can be an inspiration'

Logan's story was recently the subject of a four-minute-long video produced by Hockey Canada. Spencer Sharkey, a spokesperson for Hockey Canada, said they were first made aware of Logan through Brad Taylor, the technical director of Hockey Nova Scotia.

"We work closely with our 13 members across the country to help tell stories of the great people in the game across the country, and Logan's story was one that we felt needed to be shared because of how inspirational it was," Sharkey said in an email.

The video racked up more than 50,000 views across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "We saw a lot of engagement on social media about how inspiring Logan was and how great the video was," said the statement.

Linda said the response to the video so far has been "incredible."

"I hope he can be an inspiration to people and I hope that more people give para hockey a try and pay a little bit more attention to what's available in their local area," she said.

In the video, Tyler McGregor, captain of Canada's national para hockey team, said he was inspired by the young player.

"Going through a similar circumstance, that's how I felt as well," he said. "As soon as you deal with that, you try to find a new way to move forward with the sport you love, and that's what Logan did."

McGregor also virtually presented Logan with a jersey signed by all the members of the team.

Logan said he hasn't received it yet, but when he does: "I'm probably going to put it in a frame, but I gotta buy one first."