By Jim Amstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – High school freshman Tyler Symes was a bit awestruck during his big surprise visit from a big-league player at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Boston Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer ended up trading war stories about game-related injuries with Symes, the 15-year-old Milford hockey player who took a puck to the chest late last month during a game.

“I fractured my neck when I was in college so I’ve dealt with it,” Kampfer told Symes, his older brother and parents. “I don’t know what you’re dealing with, but I know what I went through.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

After the puck hit him during the Dec. 20 game against Nipmuc Regional High School, Symes collapsed unconscious on the ice. His heart even stopped beating for a time.

He spent days in intensive care, coming to Spalding just last week. Tyler’s family tells WBZ he’s still struggling with short-term memory loss, but is getting better every day. They expect him to come home as soon as next week.

His condition even surprised Kampfer.

“I definitely didn’t expect that. I definitely thought he was going to be in a wheelchair, but seeing him moving around and asking his parents when he can play hockey again, that’s exciting.”

Kampfer also brought along two tickets to Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Tyler is going to bring his dad.


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