Travis Roy, Who Inspired Millions After a Hockey Tragedy, Dies at 45
Travis Roy, who suffered a paralyzing injury just 11 seconds into his first hockey game for Boston University in 1995 and, as a philanthropist and motivational speaker, was revered by the sports world as an example of determination and courage, died on Thursday in a hospital outside Burlington, Vt. He was 45.
The cause was complications of surgery he needed after two and a half decades of being in a wheelchair, Keith VanOrden, his brother-in-law, said.
In the opening seconds of a televised college hockey game on Oct. 20, 1995, Mr. Roy, a forward, skated in to body-check an opposing defenseman, crashed into the boards and fell to the ice.
“It was as if my head had become disengaged from my body,” he recalled in a book, “Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph,” written with E.M. Swift. “I was turning the key in the ignition on a cold winter morning, and the battery was completely dead. Not a spark. Just click, and nothing. And right away it passed through my mind I was probably paralyzed.”