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Published October 15, 2012, 05:52 PM

Fargo hockey player plans return to ice after boating accident

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One look at Nick Schmit, and you would think the "standout" Fargo hockey player was simply getting in shape for workouts or tryouts on the ice, but what a story of recovery he has to tell.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One look at Nick Schmit, and you would think the "standout" Fargo hockey player was simply getting in shape for workouts or tryouts on the ice, but what a story of recovery he has to tell.

Nick was critically injured during a 4th of July boating accident near Perham.

In his first interview, Nick tells WDAY's Kevin Wallevand, he feels lucky, sort of.

The Fargo North graduate and standout hockey player has endured some incredibly painful weeks this fall.

As he recovers from broken bones, a fracture hip and multiple deep cuts, he received in a boating accident on the July 4th Holiday Weekend.

When Nick Schmit first started rehab at Sanford's Power Center, he was on crutches.

Today, physical therapist Kathy Woken puts Nick through a series of workouts that is taking him to a new level, to the point he is even back on the ice, playing hockey.

Kathy Woken, Sanford Physical Therapist: “Whole right side is affected, so it has progressed really well.”

It has been a brutal summer and fall for Nick. Hopes of hockey somewhere put on hold, after a boat and its propeller struck him as he and friends swam.

He suffered a fractured hip, other broken bones, and severe propeller cuts up and down his back.

Nick Schmit, Recovering From Accident: “I just remember being in the water, got hit by the boat I don't remember the prop part but right afterwards, I felt my back and thought this is not right.”

And in just 14 weeks, Nick has gone from sitting up in a hospital bed, to baby steps walking, some physical therapy even getting some ice time.

Schmit: “Just getting out there, felt good. Gave me some confidence, that I can come back and play hockey again.”

Jane Schmit, Nick’s Mom: “It has been amazing, nothing short of a miracle.”

His family and friends have watched as Nick works to get back into shape, continuing his hockey life. Mindful that he is fortunate to be this far along.

Nick Schmit: “It was unlucky and lucky. Unlucky that I got hit but lucky nothing major happened it could have hit my spine or my neck.”

Nick has learned patience and thankfulness through all of this. But he has also learned not to lose sight of dreams and goals. When these physical therapy sessions are over, it is back on the ice.

He has come a long, long way in a short amount of time, and for that we are thankful for where we are at.

And some of the best therapy right now is not only skating again, but hitting the ice with the same teammates he's played with for years, even if he's out of school.

A benefit "On the Ice" for Nick Schmit is set for mid-November. The benefit will be part of the big Fargo Force-Omaha game November 16th at the Scheel's Arena.

Special T-Shirts are for sale, and there will also be a silent auction.

The Force will be making a donation from ticket sales the night of the game.

Family and friends say Nick's connection to hockey in the community makes it a perfect venue to help him out.

Devon Schmit, Helping Plan Benefit: “The support from family and friends and all over and just in the community pull together and have his back.”

There is more information on our website, wday.com, under the Easy Link tab.

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