Milford High School Hockey Player Hurt in 'freak' Accident: AED Saves His Life!

December 22, 2010


In an instant, a local high school hockey player went from playing the game he loves to fighting for his life.

The 15-year-old's heart stopped after he got hit by a puck, and witnesses say things could have been much worse if not for a few heroic acts.

“It’s what they do all year long – play hockey. It’s just a freak accident,” said Paul Galipeau, the hockey player's uncle.

Tyler Symes was playing forward at the New England Sports Center when his family says a hockey puck hit him in the chest, stopping his heart.

"My buddies were watching the game and they said nobody really knew what happened, he just kind of went down, and he was in front of a shot. Nobody knew where it hit, but I guess it was just kind of a shot right in his chest, and he went down," said Steve Walsh, a concerned parent.

“He got hit with the puck and skated over to the bench, fell down and they administered CPR right there on the ice,” said Galipeau.

Tyler’s mom is at the hospital with him, but she told 7NEWS that the team’s trainer Jodie White, who is a nurse, got to Tyler within seconds, and with a defibrillator, she was able to take care of him. Having the defibrillator right there at the rink-side allowed rescuers to zap Tylers heart and restart a heartbeat without any delay.

“The family’s holding up. It’s a big family, we’ll pull together. Thoughts are with Tyler right now, getting better,” said Galipeau.

The Milford High School hockey team gathered together and decided to play Wednesday night's game, hopeful about Tyler's recovery.

"I hope he pulls out of it. I mean, I hope he comes back and is able to do other things, not just skate, but that's the first thing, just get back on his feet," said Walsh.

Tyler, a Milford High School freshman and three-sport athlete, is described as a great kid. His uncle says he believes that Tyler will be back on the ice.

“I don’t think it will deter him from getting back out on the ice. Only time will tell,” said Galipeau.

Tyler is off his ventilator, and breathing on his own once again.

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