April 27, 2019 12:54 pm
Updated: April 27, 2019 8:05 pm

Ryan Straschnitzki returning home for 1st time since Humboldt Broncos crash

WATCH: Saturday was an emotional homecoming for one of the survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people last year. Ryan Straschnitzki moved back into his newly renovated, wheelchair-accessible home in Airdrie. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, the family says they will now be able to start healing.

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It’s been more than a year since injured Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki slept at home in his own bed.

That’s about to change.

READ MORE: Ryan Straschnitzki, paralyzed in Humboldt Broncos crash, plans for experimental procedure in Thailand

After several months of renovations, his family’s home in Airdrie, just north of Calgary, is once again ready to be lived in.

For Straschnitzki, paralyzed from the chest down in a 2018 bus crash that left 16 people dead and 13 others injured, it will mean increased independence.

WATCH: Former Humboldt Bronco makes victorious return to the ice


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“I think everything’s just going to be accessible for me with the lift and everything like that,” he said.

“Last summer I didn’t get to spend any time with friends and I figure I might as well have a good summer with friends and family and part of that is moving home.”

READ MORE: Brother of injured Humboldt Broncos player involved in crash, hit by alleged drunk driver

The Straschnitzkis have been living in hotels since last July when Ryan returned home from physiotherapy at the Shriners Hospital for Sick Children in Philadelphia.

The renovations were months behind schedule, largely due to a number of structural problems in the original home.

The garage floor sank 50 centimetres and had to be re-poured. There were problems with wiring and he hardwood floors had to be ripped up.

WATCH: ‘Getting back on the ice is heartwarming,’ Ryan Straschnitzki says

The biggest changes included installing a separate heating unit for Straschnitzki’s bedroom — he’s unable to sense when his body is too hot or too cold — and building an elevator from the garage to what will be his basement apartment.

TV personality Mike Holmes, one of Canada’s most recognizable home renovators, oversaw the remodelling project.

After more than a year since Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki was injured, he is finally returning home to Airdrie, Alta., Saturday, April 27, 2019.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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