Hockey Player's Spinal Cord Severely Injured in Game at Gillette Stadium

Denna Laing's parents said Friday the professional women's hockey player sustained a severe spinal cord injury when she struck the boards at Gillette Stadium last week in a game before the NHL's Winter Classic.

"Tragically, Denna suffered a severe spinal cord injury playing the sport she loves," Jerilyn and Dennis Lang said in a statement. "As of today, Denna has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs. 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.

"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."

The 24-year-old Lang is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.

She was injured Dec. 31 playing for the Boston Pride in the outdoor game against the Montreal Canadiennes.

"The players, teams, coaches, management and staff of the National Women's Hockey League are united in their support of Denna Laing and her family," NWL Commissioner Dani Rylan said in a statement. "To reflect our admiration for her as a player and our appreciation for her contribution to the NWHL's first season, we are working with the Laings, our business partners and others to respond compassionately and appropriately to her injury. We will announce further details as soon as plans are formalized. Denna's drive to excel has inspired teammates and coaches alike; in honor of that attribute, I have directed our teams to wear a helmet sticker bearing her uniform No. 24."

Laing, from Marblehead, played at Princeton and works as a witness victim advocate at the Essex district attorney's office.

"While we are certain Denna will be served well by the tenaciousness that is her trademark, we also will work with the Laing family to rally the support of the hockey family during Denna's rehabilitation," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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