Ned D., 89, from Brookdale Victoria in Texas, was just a 10 year old boy playing on his neighborhood lake when he discovered his immense love for the game of hockey. Throughout the years, the sport has become an integral aspect of Ned’s identity and a deeply cherished past time. Wish of a Lifetime was thrilled to send Ned to a San Antonio Rampage Ice Hockey game on April 9th and give him an opportunity to be by the ice once more.
After attending Brown University and playing All-American Hockey there, Ned enlisted in the Navy and spent four years fighting as a Lieutenant in the Korean War. While aboard the USS Missouri, he received a letter from the U.S Olympic Committee inviting him to play with the 1952 Men’s Ice Hockey Olympic Team. Unfortunately, Ned received the letter too late and was unable to represent the U.S in ice hockey. Although this experience was largely discouraging, Ned continued to play the game of hockey. He eventually joined an amateur league in Corpus Christi and played until he was 70 years old. His love for the game persevered through countless broken noses, shattered ribs and ripped up uniforms. Through every trial, on and off the ice, Ned always returned back to the game.
As Ned aged, his aptitude for sports declined with his loss of hearing, vision and progressed signs of Dementia. Retiring from his beloved sport was a hard decision to make and he has always longed to go back to the ice. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living were thrilled to grant Ned the opportunity to see his favorite game played once more and offer him a chance to relive his glory days on the ice. Not only did Ned attend the game, but he also received a personalized jersey, polo shirt and hat from Brown University. Ned and his caretaker, Betty, had an amazing time riding in a zamboni and watching the San Antonio Rampage take on the Bakersfield Condors at the AT&T Center on April 9, 2017.
Photo credit: Cecily Everitt