The family of former NHL hockey player Fred Saskamoose said the 86-year-old is in hospital being treated for presumed COVID-19.
In a Facebook post, Saskamoose’s son Neil said he’s worried and scared for his father, who is now in intensive care at an undisclosed hospital.
Saskamoose was admitted Friday morning after feeling unwell for several days.
Neil said Fred has difficulty breathing and was wheezing.
“The truth is, is that it’s real. We have to be careful,” Saskamoose said.
“No one wants to lose a family member to this like I there’s 1000 ways to pass away. But when it’s preventable, and this is preventable. We should do everything we can to prevent anyone from getting this. We should get our cases down to zero. We should make sure our first nations are safe.”
In the Facebook post, Neil became emotional describing his father’s condition.
“But my dad, he he’s tough. He’s tough. He’ll, he’ll get through whatever’s bothering them,” explained Neil.
Saskamoose was the first indigenous person to play in the NHL. He played in 11 games for the 1954 Chicago Blackhawks.
Since leaving hockey, he has served his community on the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation, awarded the Order of Canada in 2017 and most recently received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan.