A 26-year-old Olympic hockey player has been left paralyzed from the chest down after an accident during a game.
Sanna Hakala, who plays for the team HG71 during the Swedish Women’s Hockey League game, was skating to the goalpost when she fell and crashed head-first into the post.
Players rushed over to check if the hockey player was okay but she lay unconscious and the game was postponed.
Hakala was rushed to a nearby medical facility before she underwent surgery in University Hospital in Linkoping.
The 26-year-old then took to Instagram where she opened up about her new reality.
“It is still hard to understand what has happened, that the crash into the goalpost was as serious as it was, that the consequences have become so big,” she expressed.
“Not only that I am forced to stop playing hockey, something that has been a big part of my life for many years, but that I may be forced to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”
It was in 2013 when she gained popularity through Finland hockey and made international debut as part of the country’s under-18 team.
She received massive accolades, including two bronze medals when she represented Finland at the Winter Olympic Games in 2018 and in 2022.
Hakala continued: “The injury I sustained last Friday after colliding with the goalpost has left me paralyzed from the chest down, with reduced function in my arms and hands.
“That’s the reality I’m trying to land in.”
She also said that she ‘understands’ that she’s now facing the toughest game of her life.
“Now I need to focus all my energy on the rehabilitation so that I can recover as well as possible,” she went on, adding that she and her team won’t leave more details about her situation.
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