Ethan Lockwood was being a kid. That's all. Because, when you're 10 years old playing street hockey and the ball rolls over the sidewalk, bouncing like never before and ends up under a tree there's only one thing to do: go get it. No wasting time when it comes to street hockey.
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But something happened during the retrieval: somehow, Ethan lost his balance, his feet slipped from underneath him, and he fell - face first - into the brushes and branches. A twig from a tree pierced just a few eyelashes away from the left side of his right eye. More concerning: the twig drove three inches into Ethan's brain.
Ethan was rushed from Sherwood Park to the Royal Alexandra Hospital. "Things were very serious," remembers Ethan's grandfather Lionel Lockwood. "But at first they didn't realize just how serious it was.
"We found out later it was like a stroke. The right side of the body controls the left side- the left side of Ethan's body was affected. His mouth, his arm and his foot."
Ethan was transferred to the Stollery Children's Hospital and then to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. He had two infections - one behind his eye and the other in his brain - and required two surgeries.
"I don't even want to think about where Ethan would be right now without the Glenrose," Lionel says of the world renowned rehabilitation facility on 111 Avenue in Edmonton. "They are just…amazing."
When he was first admitted to the Glenrose, Ethan could only leave the children's ward for four hours at a time because of medication requirements. When Christmas came, Ethan's family spent the night with him at the hospital, and even had a visit from Santa.
Together with caring and professional staff and Ethan's lets-get-it-done attitude, he improved greatly. Ethan can talk, walk and has a bright future ahead of him.
Now 16, he's a Grade 11 student at Salisbury Composite High School in Sherwood Park and still has a great relationship with the Glenrose. He goes back for Botox treatments and, just on Sunday, Ethan was at the Victoria Golf Course for a golf clinic in conjunction with the Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON with other children from the Glenrose. And the relationship deepens - the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is directing proceeds from the golf tournament, which has its final round at the Windermere Golf and Country Club on Sunday, to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation in support of a new Pediatric Procedure Room. A room where kids like Ethan will receive their treatments in.
Ethan enjoys golf. Very much.
The Glenrose has an annual golf tournament where golfers play as many holes as they can. Last year Ethan, who walks with a limp, played 27 holes.
"This year," his grandfather says in disbelief, "he golfed 32 holes."
Ethan was dressed sharply in a bright green golf shirt. Top button done up. Just like the pros.
"I like driving the ball," said Ethan, adding he regularly hits the 150 marker. He loves the mental aspect of the game and finds putting a great challenge.
Steven Lecurye is on the MacKenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada. The Edmonton native was one of the pros leading Sunday's clinic, giving one-on-one instruction to young golfers, including some who use the Glenrose.
"It's all about giving back," Leycure said. "I remember when I was a kid all I did was play golf. These young kids are the future of the game and I will do anything I can to help.
"They are the future of the game."
Belief, working on their short game - anything inside of 150 yards - and being resilient are three things Lecuyer says young golfers should focus on.
Lecuyer practices what he preaches. As a young boy, he played at the Windermere, applied his skill with his determination and has become a professional golfer.
It's all about hope and dealing with what the sport of life tees up.
"The one thing I've never heard Ethan do is complain about what happened to him," says Grandpa Lockwood. "He may do it at home with his mom and dad, but I never hear it."
Ethan has given several speaking presentations about his life. His message is simple, yet most profound: you can do anything you want.
And he is.
After Grade 12, Ethan has an engineering diploma in sight, and then chasing a career.