NEWS

B.C. Father Paralyzed In Hockey Mishap

04/26/2012 11:22 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Family, friends and community members are rallying around a White Rock, B.C., man who was paralyzed after a freak sports accident last weekend.

Richard Morrison was playing hockey at Burnaby's Eight Rinks when he crashed into the boards head first, breaking his neck.

“There was a couple of fractures, so they've had to cut from ... the front and the back and he has some screws and a plate,” said the man’s wife, Sheila Morrison.

Morrison is the father of a six-year-old boy and a girl, 3.

The accident has left him paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors believe he will be able to use his biceps, but it's not clear if he will be able to move his fingers.

Morrison was a well-known bartender for years along White Rock's Marine Drive. He recently moved into selling real estate, but his fun-loving zest for life remained, says friend Brent Silzer.

“He's a humanitarian,” Silzer said. “He's a good guy. He's a good soul."

Morrison also drove a Handy Dart bus, transporting the disabled around the community -- a sad coincidence not lost on other drivers.

“It's kind of an irony that he worked with these people and you end up in that kind of situation. It's tough," said driver Terri Brennan.

Morrison now faces six months of treatment and rehabilitation. His family has found out they will have to move out of their condo because it's not wheelchair accessible.

Friends are trying to raise money to help the family with Morrison's long term care.

“We are just hoping that it gets to the point where he's able to just move forward and deal with it mentally, and look to living his life with his wife and his kids and some sense of hope," Silzer said.

A website, richardmorrisonfund.org, has been set up to help in the fundraising effort.