The air was buzzing with excitement on the 8th and 9th floors of the Children’s. The day before, hospital personnel informed the parents of hospitalized children that a special surprise was underway: The Children’s spokesperson, popular NHL hockey player P.K. Subban, would be visiting with his Nashville Predators teammates.
While some parents were busy telling their kids, others were overjoyed with the opportunity to thank P.K. in person. “I’ve been in the hospital with my 18-month-old son for 6 weeks,” explained Samantha. “Zen-Luka is under medication. He can’t move or expend energy. Having access to free Wi-Fi and TV is a huge help for us. Thanks, P.K.,” said the mother, who was overcome with emotion when meeting the players.
We decided to keep the visit a secret from one patient: Loïc, a severely disabled teen whom P.K. greatly admires. “Don’t worry,” said his nurse. “We’ll make sure he’s ready for the visit. And we won’t spoil the surprise!” Words can’t express how happy Loïc was to see a crowd of players in their yellow jerseys enter his room.
“Hey, I know you!” said P.K. to Maxence, a boy he met over two years ago. “Last time I saw you, you had a big helmet on. And look at you now! The helmet’s gone!”
Maxence’s eyes sparkled as the famous hockey players gathered around him. He hopes to play hockey too someday, as a defenseman. Josi, the team captain, challenged him to a match, playing goalie as Maxence scored a hat trick. He was the proudest kid in the world.
As people bustled around the hospital corridors, Élyse was trying to keep her cool in a nearby hallway. The teenager is a hockey fanatic, and P.K. is her favourite player. She could barely contain her excitement. “Meeting P.K. is my dream,” she said.
P.K. helped put smiles on a lot of kids’ faces during a difficult time in their lives. Thanks, P.K., and thanks to your teammates Scott Hartnell, Ryan Johansen, Matt Irwin, Anthony Bitetto, Roman Josi and Nick Bonino!