Kyle Cannon talks to Chrys Peterson after paralyzing hockey injury

Posted by LS - email

ANN ARBOR, MI (WTOL) - Two months ago, Kyle Cannon was a typical high school student and a hockey player for Clay.

Then, in a tragic accident, he broke his neck when he was checked during a hockey game back in November. Since that time, Kyle has been in the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor  undergoing intense treatment.

News 11's Chrys Peterson spent an hour with Kyle and his family on Friday, January 23. Chrys says she found a teenager with an incredible spirit, who plans on beating the odds. Kyle is  exceeding doctors' expectations and his family speaks of hope and gratitude.

"I got hit from behind and went head first into the boards and then I remember waking up two minutes later, looking down and not being able to feel anything and asking questions," says Kyle Cannon.

And all of the answers doctors gave Kyle and his family were pretty grim. He'd broken his neck and they said neither surgery nor therapy would offer much improvement. Kyle has higher expectations of himself.

"The doctors pretty much said I'm not going to get anything back. So now I'm getting biceps, a little bit of wrist and right tricep."

Kyle's father Jim has seen the improvement too. He's taken a leave of absence from his job to stay with Kyle around the clock.

"I need to be with him through it, every day we dig for more. Let's try this, try that, making sure they're doing everything they can do."

He has no doubt Kyle is doing everything he can to push himself through intense therapy sessions. A couple of weeks ago Kyle got stomach flu.

"I said what do you want to do? Cancel therapy? He said no, let's go. Bring a bucket..."

"To see the things he's done and how strong he's been through the whole thing, he's kept me afloat. He doesn't realize that. He's kept a lot of people afloat. I've seen a lot. I've seen him grow a lot."

"I'm just trying to stay positive and trying not to get down on myself."

Word of Kyle's positive attitude has spread. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky sent him an autographed photo, and this week he had a surprise visitor. Detroit Red Wings' Coach Mike Babcock visited Kyle. He gave Kyle a signed jersey and invited him to Red Wings practice when he feels up to it.

Kyle's immediate goal is to regain the use of his hands, but he holds out hope for even more in the future. "My ultimate hope is to see him walk again. It's a stretch, I know, but it's possible. Any thing's possible."