In October, former national patient ambassador Katie Ladlie was named to the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey team. This past weekend, we were able to see Katie on the ice with the team as they took on the Florida Bandits in Brandon, Fla.
While the Florida Bandits commanded a lead throughout most of the game, the U.S. Women’s Team came charging back in the last period, ending the game in a 2-2 tie.
Sled hockey (also known as sledge hockey) is a Paralympic sport that follows most of the typical ice hockey rules, although different equipment is used. Players sit in specially-designed sleds with two blades, and use two sticks with metal picks on the end to propel themselves. Goalies use the same equipment as their teammates, but modifications are made to the glove that allows them to maneuver.
Katie, now 17, has been a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children since she was 2 years old. She was born with a vascular malformation in her left leg that eventually led to the complete deterioration of her knee cartilage, causing her tremendous pain. At the age of 12, her knee pain grew so bad that she needed a wheelchair for mobility. Katie’s doctors gave her a choice – to have her leg amputated or have her knee permanently fused. Katie chose to have her leg amputated. Shortly after the surgery, Katie was introduced to adaptive sports, which was a turning point. She became very active and now, in addition to sled hockey, Katie participates in competitive swimming and track.
We look forward to watching Katie and the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey team as they prepare for the 2018 Paralympic Games, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.