On February 18, 2023, the NHL Officials assigned to the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Vancouver Canucks welcomed some special guests. Carter and his family were invited to visit us in our dressing room and experience an NHL arena and game. This was made possible through our charity Zebras Care, the NHL Off-Ice Officials, and the Vancouver Canucks.
Carter is a wonderful 13 year-old boy who was born with transposition of the great arteries, a serious and rare form of congenital heart disease in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. This sets up two separate circulations in the body in which the heart and lungs receive oxygen-rich blood and the rest of the body receives oxygen-starved blood. Life-saving heart surgery was needed and Carter underwent surgery when he was only 5 days old. He spent the next month of his life in the Intensive Care Unit at BC Children’s Hospital. Following countless appointments and check-ups since his surgery, Carter continues to thrive, playing elite, competitive soccer, and now is not only a Canucks fan but we hope a fan of the Officials as well!
Carter has a smile that lights up a room. It was a pleasure to host Carter and his family; their perseverance and positivity was contagious and gave us all perspective on our daily lives. Carter you are welcome to be part of our officiating team anytime and we wish you continued health and happiness.
Zebras Care would like to acknowledge Jeff Vinnick for his photography, the Canucks for providing meals and post-game player availability, and the Off-Ice Officials in Vancouver for their ongoing logistical support. As well, Carter and his family would like to acknowledge BC Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Heart Centre for their incredible care and support over the years!