- Category : 1973-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (16,20,30,49,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 2
American hockey player who recovered from his second severe hockey-related spinal chord injury to walk again.
Gilpatrick’s mother and father divorced when he was four. By the time he was six, he was playing hockey and by 11 he was attending goalie camps. John’s father, Jim Gilpatrick was a star high school athlete. His mother, Elaine, was remarried to Allan Jones, a retired police officer.
Friends described him as an aggressive competitor on the ice, but popular, low-key and unselfish off the ice. In 1989 Gilpatrick was blindsided by another player during a high school hockey game. He suffered a broken neck, severe concussion and lost feeling in his arms, but had no permanent paralysis. In the hospital for two months, he had four operations, including one to implant steel stabilizing hooks in his spine. Miraculously, he recovered and was able to play his beloved hockey again.
On 1/25/1996 in a Boston University hockey game, he collided with another player. His neck snapped back and he suffered central chord syndrome - his spinal chord was not severed but was injured enough to render his arms and torso useless, although his legs still worked.
Eventually, Gilpatrick was able to return to college part-time, where he majored in criminal justice and graduated in the spring of 2000. After four-and-a-half years of hard work in rehab, in July 2000, he felt the first sensation in his spine since the second injury. He was able to move his right arm in August 2000 and then later that month was able to walk with difficulty. He feels a little guilty that he’s able to walk again with this injury while so many cannot. He’s planning to enter law school in the fall of 2000, and hopes to be able to drive and get back on skates in the winter.