RDC Kings hockey forward Nick Fountain is fighting a battle off the ice after undergoing emergency brain surgery this weekend in Edmonton.
Fountain, a third-year forward with the Kings, was playing in a recreation hockey tournament in Edmonton when he suffered an arteriovenous malformation hemorrhage (AVM).
An AVM is described as a tangling of blood vessels, which in Fountain’s case, had ruptured and hemorrhaged in his brain.
Kings head coach Trevor Keeper said Fountain was playing in the tournament Friday night when he felt some pain behind his eye and a major headache. He had dizzy spells and started vomiting. Fountain was rushed to the University of Alberta Hospital for surgery.
Keeper, who learned about the incident Saturday morning, said Fountain is recovering and being monitored in the hospital.
“They were able to clip the vessels and stop the bleeding. He had quite a bit of swelling and so he’s recovering from that and they’re keeping him sedated. Watching how the brain is responding. It looks like the bleeding has ceased, so that’s good news,” Keeper said.
Fountain’s brother Dustin, a teacher in Lacombe, tweeted on Saturday, “Thank you everyone for all the prayers and kind words. @Founts94 isn’t known to back down from a fight.”
— Dustin Fountain (@DFountain1212) April 7, 2018
The 23-year-old from Wainwright, Alta., has been a staple in the Kings lineup for the last three seasons and has played 71 games at RDC. He’s currently in his third year of the Bachelor of Arts- Political Science program at RDC.
Keeper added that some of the players were hoping to visit their teammate on Tuesday, but will likely wait until later in the week. The Kings head coach said he’ll be making a trip up to Edmonton on Friday and expects Fountain to be in the hospital for at least a few weeks.
“It’s difficult, guys on our team want to go up and see him, but there’s no point right now,” Keeper said.
“They have asked we hold off on that, maybe by (Tuesday or Wednesday) they’ll bring him out of sedation and he can have some visitors perhaps.”