by Dez Melenka
A former local hockey player who broke his neck during a college game in the U.S. arrived home in Edmonton Monday about a month after he was injured.
Jesse Martin who plays with the University of Denver has been recovering in hospital for the past month.
The 22-year-old former Spruce Grove Saint and member of the St. Francis Xavier High School hockey academy was playing against the University of North Dakota when he was body-checked.
Martin suffered three fractures of his C2 vertebrae. The six-foot-two player took the hit hard and was knocked unconscious. He initially did not have any feelings in his arms or legs.
The young man has undergone surgery to put a screw into his vertebrae.
He now says he is happy to be home in Edmonton.
"With Christmas coming up I am just so thrilled to be back here with my family and being able to enjoy it in a way that for a while I didn't think was possible," he told CTV News Monday.
Martin says he isn't taking his recovery for granted. He acknowledges things could have taken a different turn.
"You see people with the exact same injury that either control their wheelchair with their head or one arm or with a straw or whatever and you think that could have easily been you."