Jason Baird Hockey Player
Jason Baird Hockey Player Tragedy The Baird Trust Fund
ABOUT JASON BAIRD
of Cayuga, Ontario is a (27 year old) husband, father of 3 children and professional hockey player. He was born and raised in Cayuga, Ontario Canada but moved to the United States for his
On July 17, 2008 Jason
was working off-season in Youngstown, Ohio with a landscaping company when the lawnmower he
was riding EXPLODED and engulfed in flames. Jason suffered third-degree burns over 60% of his
body. A Tenant of the Apartment Complex he
was working at called 911 and crews were able to put out the blaze.
In mid-October, Jason finally got to go home. His daily routine requires him to go to the Akron Hospital for six hours of rehab, a 90 minute dressing change by Bethany at home and then more stretching therapy at home to keep the skin form daily. Due to the risk of infections, his surroundings must be absolutely sterile.
has been fitted for a facemask and pressurized body wear that he
will wear for at least a year to reduce the amount of scarring. A long, challenging, costly road likes ahead. as you can imagine, the medical expenses are enormous,and being off-season, Jason
had no medical insurance coverage from hockey. Authorities have taken the mower for examination. The bizarre accident remains under investigation and no explanation for the explosion has been found, to date.
Jason had just finished his sixth year in the Central Hockey League as a Professional Hockey Player with four years playing for the Corpus Christ IceRays. As a member of the Rays he started the "Baird's Bunch" a local non-for-profit benefiting at risk youths.
JASON'S HOCKEY CAREER
Jason spent his minor career in Cayuga & Welland, Ontario before signing with the Mississauga Reps of the Greater Toronto Hockey League at the age of 15. The Vaughan Vipers of the Ontario Provincial Hockey League Tier II then signed him, before being drafted by the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. He played with the Otters for four seasons before turning Pro in 2001. He has since played for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coach Hockey League, the Guildford Flames of the British National League, the Indianapolis Ice, and the Corpus Christie Rays. Jason spent last season playing for the Youngstown Steelhounds in Ohio. After 6 years in the Central Hockey League, Jason had just been signed with the Muskegon Fury of the International Hockey League 6 days before his tragic lawn mower accident.
has consistently been a scorer, with 382 points (136g, 246a) in 383 games, plus 24 points (10g, 14a) in 32 career playoff games. Before turning pro, Baird
spent four seasons with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League
, where he
recorded 87 goals, 131 assists and 699 PIM in 245 games
Fate dealt Jason Baird
family a cruel blow that forever changed their lives.
Fate dealt Jason Baird
family a cruel blow that forever changed their lives.
One day last month, Bethany was a hockey wife and Jason Baird, 27, was a career minor-league hockey player in Youngstown, Ohio, trying to feed a family on a minor-hockey salary.
On July 17, the future of Jason
and Bethany Baird and their three children was forever altered.
This time in our life, yes has caused stress at times and is a daily emotional battle but at the end of the day, Jason
is still alive.
Anyone who has sustained the injury that Jason
has, has either not lived or is now battling with many things they must learn to overcome.
is not missing a fingernail or an eyelash and he
will eventually look back at this ... with only the scars as an attachment to the memory.
You get the sense one day that's she's
broken, confused about what's going on; the next she
might get news that Jason
is coming off the ventilator and you can feel she's
just over the top, thrilled.
Little things like, he
eyes ... it brings home the emotions of what they're dealing with.
is recovering does not surprise Rupp: "I remember him as the agitating kind ... plays hard, does the dirty work.
didn't like something.
Instead of just trying to antagonize or fight the one guy, he
dove head long into their bench.
wanted to take them all on.
Guys loved playing with him.
was always no holds barred."
From 1999 to 2002 we had a great run with guys like Brad Boyes and Carlo Colaiacovo, Rupp and Tim Connolly and Jason sort of flew under their radar," said Mike Jeanneret, director of media relations for the Otters.
After, me and my girlfriends went to a bar and Jason
was there and he
just followed me (she laughs) everywhere."
They married July 30 of last year.
already had two children: Markus, 8, and Isiah, 11.
found room for them all in his
heart on a minor-league salary.
was the team MVP one season and started Baird's Bunch in Corpus Christi, a not-for-profit group benefiting at-risk youths. "He
wants to become a coach.
Neither can Jason
Last season, he
played in the Central Hockey League
, which provides medical insurance only during the season.
If [Jason] does everything he's
supposed to and takes care of himself, the doctors say he
could recover 100 per cent." Yet there is another battle looming for the Bairds -- the hospital bills are considerable.
"I didn't realize Jason
had a family as well, so all these things came into play.
It made your heart go out to him even more.
got all these medical expense burdens let alone he's
got enough on his
plate worrying about just putting one foot in front of another." "Everyone I know dropped what they were doing.
I know Steve Valiquette with the [New York] Rangers runs a hockey camp in New York and he
was just getting started [when he
got the news] and he
pretty much cancelled it to be there." It's a similar story among dozens of former teammates.
And as testament to Jason
's ability to engage the hockey community, his
billet from more than 12 years ago took time away from a hectic real estate career in Mississauga, Ont., to help out. "Jason is beautiful.
plays for the love of the game.
and the sport, in k ind, has lots to say about Jason Baird
is not a household name in Toronto, New York or Boston.
He doesn't have a high-priced agent and fantasy poolies do not call out his name.
went undrafted in junior, not a single eyebrow was raised.
is loved by many hockey fans.
People in Erie, Pa. remember fondly his
days with the Otters.
Corpus Christi, Texas treats the Ontario boy like a native son and Youngstown, Ohio is praying for him. A career minor leaguer, Baird
recently signed on to play with the Muskegon Fury of the International League
, but he
will likely never suit up for them.
On July 17, Baird was working a summer job as a landscaper in Youngstown when the riding lawnmower he was steering exploded, engulfing the 27-year-old father of three in flames.
received third-degree burns to more than 70 percent of his
body and the weeks since have seen the gritty winger in and out of surgery and fighting for his
Like a lot of kids in North America, Baird
was keeping his
dream of playing hockey for a living alive by doing what had to be done.
could only earn about $500 a week, he
would take a job in the summer and make up the income that way.
Construction and landscaping are common, which, ironically, is what NHLers did back in the Original Six era. But now that summer job has Baird
fighting for his
life in an Akron burn unit.
After two weeks, Jason Baird's
next milestone will be to get off his
ventilator and talk again.
never played in a major hockey market, the passion - and compassion - of his
fans runs just as deep. Trawl the comment section on Bethany Baird's journal
and you'll find fans, Zamboni drivers, rival teams and even the folks who used to run the pizza place in Cayuga, Ont., where Jason
suffered third-degree burns to 70 per cent of his
body when a lawn mower on which he
was riding exploded July 17.
is seen here playing with the Central Hockey League
's Youngstown Steelhounds last season.
is slowly recovering in the burn unit of an Ohio hospital.
received seven skin grafts, started breathing on his
own and recently spoke to her