Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous players in NHL history, has been hospitalized due to a suspected case of COVID-19.
The hockey pioneer was admitted to a health facility Friday for treatment after having symptoms for a couple of days, according to a Facebook post from the official account of his national hockey championship. He was presumed positive at the time and was awaiting test results.
Sasakamoose’s son, Neil, said Saturday afternoon that though his mother was initially misinformed about Fred’s diagnosis, they were later told it was a presumed positive test. Neil added that Fred was experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing before being admitted to hospital Friday.
On Saturday evening, a nurse at the hospital took a photo of Sasakamoose smiling beside her, and the image was uploaded to the same Facebook account with a caption stating, “We just talked to him and he is fighting.” One day later, Sasakamoose said in a short video he is “OK” and feeling better.
The 86-year-old played 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2017.