A memorable moment for Rafaël

Teenager gets to meet the Montreal Canadiens’ after spending over three months in hospital

When we heard that Rafaël Bisaillon was a huge Habs fan, we knew we had to find a way to get him some one-on-one time with his favourite player, Max Pacioretty. The fourteen-year-old from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu has been at the Montreal Children’s Hospital since September 20. He was badly hurt after driving into a metal wire by accident while on his friend’s scooter. “I was driving around a parking lot near my house and I didn’t notice the wire because it was dark. I drove right into it and it hit me in the throat,” he says.

Rafaël was rushed to the emergency department at his local hospital. The damage to his trachea was so severe that doctors had to perform an emergency tracheotomy to help him breathe. A tracheostomy tube was inserted into an opening in his trachea to allow air to go in and out through the tube instead of through his mouth and nose. He was then transferred to the Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where he spent a week before moving to the 7th floor surgical in-patient ward where he’s been ever since.

With everything Rafaël has been going through, staff wanted to organize something special for him. So when word got out that Rafaël loved watching hockey games in his hospital room, they approached the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation who then surprised him and his family with four tickets to a game at the Bell Centre on November 29. “Even though the Canadiens lost to the Sabres that night, we still had a lot of fun,” says Rafaël. “It was my first time at the Bell Centre!” Then a couple weeks later, he received even more exciting news! He would get to meet all of the players on December 15 during their annual visit to the Children’s. “First the game, and now this,” he says. “I can’t wait!”