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High School Hockey Player Nearly Killed During Game Returns To Ice

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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MARLBORO (CBS) – To watch Milford’s #9 on the ice, you would never think that just over two years ago during a high school hockey game, he nearly died.

Tyler Symes was a freshman back in 2010, when a puck hit him in the chest. He skated to the bench, where he collapsed. His heart simply stopped beating.

Fast-acting parents in the crowd leapt to his rescue and helped keep him alive until emergency crews arrived.

Tyler spent quite a while in the hospital, then in rehab, re-learning to walk and to feed himself.

He was visited, he says, by just about every Boston Bruin on the team. But now, incredibly, Tyler’s playing again.

“You just gotta go back to playing the same way you used to,” he says. “It’s definitely scared me since my accident and everything, but it’s just something I can’t stay away from.”

Tyler’s determination to play again did not surprise his family.

“He always wanted to,”explains Tyler’s dad, Ben. “Right away, he wanted to skate again and he wanted to play.”

For a time, doctors wouldn’t let him skate at all. Then, last year, Tyler was allowed to practice with the team, but no games and no physical contact. The 17-year-old hated it.

“Sitting around and just watching the games and everything,” he remembers, “was just torture.”

Now, though, it’s almost like nothing happened.

“It was a little emotional at first,” says his mother Dawn, “but it’s exciting because it’s what he wants to be doing. “

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