Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 18

FRASER MIRR From Clinically Dead to Leading Scorer In Grade 10, Pembina Valley Twisters forward Fraser Mirrlees, the 2014-15 Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League Rookie of the Year, died on the operating table. Today, the 19-year-old is among the top scorers in the MMJHL. A medical miracle has come all the way back to become one of Manitoba junior hockey’s best players. G By Scott Taylor Photos by James Carey Lauder and Rusty Barton 18 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 len Munford, the owner of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League’s Pembina Valley Twisters considers one of his players “a medical miracle.” “The story is amazing,” said Munford. “Fraser Mirrlees was clinically dead. They thought they’d lost him on the operating table. And it wasn’t that long ago. He was playing high school hockey at the time. He’s come a long way back in a very short time. He was our league’s rookie of the year last year and just check to see who the leading scorer in the league is. On any given day during the season there is a good chance it will be Fraser. “And he’s such a great kid to have on our team. Good player, quality person. We’re proud to say he plays for us.” Fraser Mirrlees is living proof that with invasive surgery, there is always a risk. Even if that surgery seems minor and is unlikely to be life threatening. “It was back in Grade 10 and I was playing hockey at Sanford Collegiate,” Mirrlees explained. “A guy fell on me and my knee went the wrong way. I went into the clinic in Winnipeg and they told me that they believed that I’d torn my MCL (medial collateral ligament). It didn’t bother me all that much and I was walking on it, but it wasn’t healing well enough for me to play hockey and because it hadn’t been dealt with it just wasn’t healing properly. “So I had an MRI and an X-ray and they found that I also had a small fracture in my femur and they decided that they needed to repair my knee and put a plate in the femur. So I didn’t think it would be a big deal and I wanted to play again so we set a date for the operation.” It is truly frightening what can happen sometimes. Even though he wasn’t awake for it, he was told that he lost a lot of blood, his blood pressure went up and his heart rate went way down. “I woke up 12 hours later and I was told I’d officially died on the table,” he said. “And it was kind of funny, what happened when I woke