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Hockey the driving force behind Sherwood Park girl’s brain injury recovery

Click to play video: 'Hockey the driving force behind Alberta girl’s brain injury recovery' Hockey the driving force behind Alberta girl’s brain injury recovery
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton's Minor Hockey Week is full of heartwarming stories. In Sherwood Park, a teen is determined to improve her game after suffering a life-threatening brain injury. Quinn Phillips reports – Jan 18, 2018

Bryanna Forest said her breakthrough year in hockey was when she was 10 years old.

It was after that season, though, that her life got flipped upside down.

After a day at the splash park she was showing symptoms of heat stroke; her parents took her to hospital in Sherwood Park, only to have to her raced to the Stollery Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

“Within five hours of her saying she had a headache we were having emergency surgery,” said Angela Forest, Bryanna’s mom.

The headache was a sudden brain hemorrhage. The surgery saved her life. But this was only the beginning of a tough battle. Bryanna temporarily lost her sight, she also had to learn to walk and talk again.

“She was in a wheelchair for about four months,” Angela said.

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“My talking skills were about as much as a two-year-old’s talking skills would be,” Bryanna remembered.

READ MORE: Corus Radiothon raises $1.4M for the Stollery Children’s Hospital

She knew she would play hockey again, she was determined to. It was the first thing she asked about when she came out of surgery. And playing again is what got her through the many months of rehabilitation at the Glenrose Hospital.

The first time she stepped back on the ice was a year later.

“I figured it would be really hard,” Bryanna said. “All I did was, I just ran out there and I went a few strides and then I fell.”

She’s been playing since then, her team is in Sunday’s Female Bantam B final at Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week.

The 14-year-old says her game has a lot of work before she gets to the level she wants to be, but it certainly appears nothing is going to stop her from working at it.

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Bryanna Forest is on the ice at QuikCard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week after much work to rehabilitate herself from a brain hemorrhage. Supplied to Global News
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Bryanna Forest is on the ice at QuikCard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week after much work to rehabilitate herself from a brain hemorrhage. Supplied to Global News
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Bryanna Forest is on the ice at QuikCard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week after much work to rehabilitate herself from a brain hemorrhage. Supplied to Global News
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Bryanna Forest is on the ice at QuikCard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week after much work to rehabilitate herself from a brain hemorrhage. Supplied to Global News
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Bryanna Forest is on the ice at QuikCard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week after much work to rehabilitate herself from a brain hemorrhage. Supplied to Global News

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