I just wanted to share a quick note on Pat McIlvain, a former California University of Pennsylvania hockey player who was seriously wounded in Afghanistan last May.
Last Thursday, Cal U hosted a special Veterans Day hockey event at the Consol Energy Center in honor of Pat, in what was a great event and on Friday, Pat was a special guest of the Penguins, attending the morning skate, meeting players in the locker room and attended Friday’s nights game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Pat returned to the Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center on Saturday and in remarkable fashion, returned a completely different person.
According to Pat’s family members, the hospitals’ doctors, therapists, social workers, etc are in shock at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.
In the words of the doctors, “ He is alive!” and Pat’s family members were able to hold a phone conversation with Pat Monday night, and Pat was speaking in sentences for the first time since he was shot in May.
He spoke of the Cal hockey event at the Consol, seeing his friends and family, and having conversations with Sidney Crosby and Max Talbot just to name a few.
The family was told that Pat shouldn’t have a short term memory at this point, but the Cal U event from Thursday night and meeting the Penguins on Friday, clearly left a mark on Pat, as he now remembers just about everything.
The hospital told the family on Monday that Pat’s trip to Pittsburgh jump started his recovery and the progress they are seeing now is unbelievable.
Among the highlights from Pat’s visit with the Penguins is Sidney Crosby gave Pat a stick on Friday, and he hasn’t let go of the stick.
The Penguins received word of Pat’s remarkable progress and head coach Dan Bylsma posted an email explaining Pat’s progress in the Penguins locker room and the players were in amazement I’m told.