A longtime Minnesota youth hockey coach is recovering after suffering a significant brain injury after hitting his head on the ice during a recent practice.
According to an online fundraiser via GoFundMe, Harv Graczyk, 67, was coaching kids at St. Michael-Albertville Arena on Monday, Nov. 26 when he fell and hit his head on the ice, suffering a "traumatic brain injury" that led to a week in an intensive care unit.
Graczyk will remain hospitalized for an extended period, the fundraiser says, followed by at least 30 days in a rehab facility.
The coach's son, Blake Graczyk, described his father's injury to KARE 11, noting that the chinstrap on his helmet wasn't fastened and it flew off when he fell, leading to his head striking the ice directly when he tumbled backwards.
“It just shows you how important it is to have your helmet secured because if it were, he probably still would have had a concussion, but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near this level,” Blake told FOX 9.
According to USA Hockey, chinstraps must be fastened at all times when a player or coach is on the ice.
As of Sunday morning, the fundraiser had generated more than $10,300 with a goal of reaching $30,000. All of the money will go towards medical expenses and help his family get by while they're out of work helping Graczyk on his road to recovery.