Philanthropist and Former-Hockey Player Travis Roy Dies at 45
Maine-native Travis Roy passed away on Thursday of complications from his paralysis a week and 25 years after he was paralyzed during his first shift as a Boston University hockey player. He was 45.
Roy joined B.U. on the heels of a National Championship season in 1995 looking to continue a promising hockey career for himself, though his life changed just 11 seconds into his collegiate career.
Roy crashed headfirst into the boards after University of North Dakota's Mitch Vig avoided Roy's check. The off-balanced nature with which Roy collided with the boards made for an awkward impact, resulting in Roy cracking his fourth and fifth vertebrae. Roy, who was 20 at the time of the accident, lived the rest of his life as a quadriplegic.
Roy would go on to become an inspiration to many and establish the "The Travis Roy Foundation," which has distributed nearly $10 million in grants to research projects and rehabilitation centers, with the money used to pay for adaptive equipment to aid the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics.
Roy, who was born in Augusta, Maine, is the namesake of the North Yarmouth Academy's ice arena, and the only B.U. hockey player to have his number retired.
Now the radio voice of the Boston Celtics, Sean Grande was calling Boston University hockey in the mid-1990's when the prospect from Yarmouth, Maine arrived on the scene for the Terriers.
In his appearance on The Drive on Thursday, Grande recalled the incident that took place 10 feet below his broadcast booth and discussed the life and legacy of Roy.