Former BU Hockey Player Honored 20 Years After Career-Ending Injury

Twenty years later, the video is still painful to watch. It's Boston University freshman hockey player Travis Roy slamming into the boards during a game.

It happened just eleven seconds into his first time on the ice. It was an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

A tough 20 years later, Roy isn't looking back.

"I don't like to waste my time thinking about what if, and what could have been," said Roy.

Tuesday, Roy was honored at BU's Agannis Arena. Mayor Marty Walsh is also recognizing the day as "Travis Roy" day in Boston.

Roy told the kids in the audience to make goals and treat others with respect.

His lesson is a tough one.

"I didn't know how much trouble he went through," said one youth hockey player.

Roy also told a heart-wrenching story about returning to BU post-injury, eating alone, other students unsure as to to how to approach him.

Roy said, "It wasn't about until about 15 or 20 minutes later, did it dawn on me, that as crowded as that cafeteria was, nobody came and sat down at my table."

Also at the event Tuesday was Jack Parker. He was head coach of the hockey team at the time.

"It's triumph over tragedy," Parker said.

The two still see each other often, going to dinner once every three weeks.

"We walk around Boston, and it's amazing, nobody knows me, everyone knows Travis, and it's amazing," said Parker.

Despite all his challenges, twenty years later, Roy, who lives in Boston, is still very much an optimist.

His foundation will raise two million dollars this year for people with spinal cord injuries.

He says his future goals---to be able to feed himself and one day get out of bed and get dressed by himself.

Roy said, "There is a lot of research that is finally moving out of the labs and into clinical trials, and I do believe the next 15-20 years there will be therapies that will benefit people like myself."  

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