Boston Pride’s Denna Laing Speaks From Hospital Bed: ‘Hello, I’m Back’
Boston Pride forward Denna Laing suffered a “significant spinal injury” when she collided into the boards during last month’s Outdoor Women’s Classic, part of the 2016 NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, and was rushed to Mass. General.
Almost immediately, the hockey community banded together, raising more than $40,000 for Laing’s hospital bills in a GoFundMe campaign. Teams all across the country formed the number 14 on their home ice as a symbol of solidarity with Laing, who wore the number.
— Brad Frost (@FrostBrad) January 8, 2016
— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) January 9, 2016
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) January 10, 2016
Eleven days after the injury, Laing—who has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs—spoke publicly for the first time Monday night in a video posted on her Twitter account. The Marblehead native gave a big smile, and a “Prove People Wrong” bracelet can be spotted on her arm brace.
“Our prayer going forward is that Denna can be moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a Rehabilitation Center and continue to fight everyday with her trademark grit and resolve. With respect to her long term prognosis, right now there are more questions than answers,” Jerilyn and Dennis Laing, Denna’s parents, said in a statement. “We have received an incredible outpouring of love and support from countless friends and family members while we try to navigate this overwhelming situation. We are eternally grateful to everyone who continues to offer support as we take on this challenge together.”
National Women’s Hockey League Commissioner Dani Rylan directed the league’s four teams to wear helmet decals bearing the number 24, which Laing wore during the Outdoor Women’s Classic. Laing, 24, served as the captain of Princeton University’s women’s hockey team for two years prior to joining the Pride.