Radical Surgery Saves Young Player's Hockey Career

Ryan Hall
July 30, 2023  (4:48 PM)

It is always heartening to hear stories of young hockey players whose careers are jeopardized by health issues but are saved through miracle procedures performed by skilled doctors. One such inspiring tale involves Hudson Malinoski, a draft pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round, who shares his remarkable journey of overcoming a life-threatening condition at the tender age of 13.

In 2017, while enjoying a day with friends on his newly purchased wakeboard boat, Hudson suffered a severe injury when he accidentally struck his head and neck. Initially diagnosed with a concussion, his mother, Tanya, noticed his health deteriorating and promptly took him to the hospital for further examination.
Despite multiple hospital visits, Hudson's condition worsened. Eventually, Tanya's friend, neurologist Dr. Wendy Fitzpatrick, took a look at his scans and urgently sought assistance from Dr. Lisa Peeling, who was in the midst of another surgery. The scans revealed a torn vertebral artery, an extremely rare and risky condition, particularly for a child in Saskatchewan. The doctors realized they had to act swiftly to prevent an impending stroke and save Hudson's future in sports
In a groundbreaking procedure never before performed on a child in the region, doctors placed a coronary stent into Hudson's neck artery to restore blood flow to his brain. The surgery was fraught with tension, but in the end, it was successful. Hudson regained consciousness, and his health began to improve remarkably.
Following the surgery, Hudson's health was restored remarkably, and he was able to resume playing hockey. He went on to join various teams, including the Western Hockey League, where he gained notoriety for his exceptional skills, catching the attention of NHL scouts.
Hudson's perseverance and passion for hockey eventually paid off. In the recent NHL draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced his name as their fifth-round pick, 153rd overall. His parents stood proudly as he took to the ice during the Maple Leafs' development camp in July, witnessing their son's dreams come true.
Hudson Malinoski's story is a testament to the power of determination, cutting-edge medical technology, and sheer will to achieve one's dreams. Overcoming a life-threatening injury, he proved that with the right support and medical expertise, anything is possible. His journey not only inspires aspiring young athletes but also highlights the crucial role of healthcare professionals in preserving and shaping the careers of promising talents.
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