• Doug Most

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    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 33 comments on Travis Roy, Terrier Hockey Player Paralyzed in 1995, Dies at 45.

  1. So sad to hear this awful news about Travis. Condolences to Travis’ family, and the BU hockey and athletics family. He gave so much after such a horrific tragedy only 11 seconds into his first start as a BU freshman.

  2. I had the distinct privilege of being a nurse for Travis and his kindness and grace I will carry with me forever, what an exceptional human being, God Bless Travis

    1. Erin, what a beautiful message. Thank you for being there for Travis when he needed it the most. I think the people that surrounded and cared for Travis after he sustained his injury had a huge impact on him and his life. The fact that he was such a positive and caring individual who went on to lead such a happy and fulfilling life while helping to make the lives of so many people with spinal cord injuries better, speaks volumes about what you did for him. You were there for him during such a scary time in his life and showed him through your own example how to care for others and were probably a big part of why he decided to go on in his life to take care of so many others. His wonderful family and his college were so wonderful as well. Thank you all for helping to create such an amazing athlete and human being who went on to be the captain of the team for so many other people that were faced with similar injuries and challenges. I wish I could have met him and am so happy that his legacy will live on through his foundation. Most of all, Thank you Travis, you are one in a trillion and you not only played hockey well, but more importantly, you played well at life. Rest In Peace.

  3. Being a hockey mom, I am reminded that Travis’ story embodies our biggest fears and our pride for our children. He was such a shining example of making something out of a tragic life change. His legacy and good deeds will live forever. May he rest in peace … love and condolences to his family.

  4. My son played hockey @ Tabor Academy Prep School in the Travis Roy Arena where Travis played his high school hockey.

    Every time I walked into the arena and saw the photo of Travis making a clay pot with a huge smile on his face my day got better.

    Many of us are much better off for having known Travis.

    Travis, RIP.

  5. Travis has proven that the human spirit can prevail amidst dark times and tragedies. Not minimizing his tragedy, he rose above what the result could have been, and he decided to work and live for others. How can Travis’ story and life not be an inspiration to those who find themselves brought down by the struggles and challenges that life has brought their way? I am certain that there are many who were inspired and continued the fight based on Travis’ example. Well done, Travis. Your work here is done, but the inspiration of your life does and will live on.

  6. I was lucky enough to know Travis and his father, Lee, when Travis was a little rink rat and his dad was the manager at NYA. We knew he was something special as a little kid both talent and personality wise back then. Still remember when Lee was involved in a car accident which crushed his feet and was concerned that he’d never walk properly again. Couldn’t believe when Travis broke his neck and became paralyzed. I always hoped Travis would walk again too just like dad. He never walked again, but that didn’t stop him. Nothing could! Rest in peace Travis.

  7. I knew Lee and Brenda and the kids for many years as a member of the Down East Region Porsche Club of America. I send them all my love and God’s Peace.

    Katy (Acker) Schaber

  8. Dorothy Clark October 29, 2020 9:44PM

    When Travis came back to BU after his accident and rehabilitation, he was in one of my courses. During that semester, he was an inspiration to the other students and to me. Travis had been through so much, and there he was amongst us, with humor and a generosity of spirit, which I have never forgotten. Yes, let’s celebrate Travis Roy, now and always. ❤️

  9. If you had the great honor and great privilege of meeting Travis Roy, then you knew that you were with a leader and with an inspirational man of the greatest courage. What an exceptional ice hockey player. Yes, Travis would have been a professional ice hockey player. That is a fact. The Good Lord will bless you with His Grace now. We all loved and admired Travis. What a treasure for all of us!!! Thank you for helping all of us every day.

  10. I went to Tabor and Travis Roy legacy lives deep in our hearts..and will forever..this is the bravest man ive ever known..Peter Clark Tabor Academy lass of 83

  11. Me and my three hockey player sons mourn someone who epitomized what a hockey player represents. Robbed of his physical gifts, he carried on that empathetic spirit of the hockey world, which is to say maybe we’re adversaries today on the ice, but aren’t we so lucky to be part of this hockey family. Hard lap in heaven.

  12. My heart sank when I heard about Travis Roy today. My sons were playing high school hockey at the time and it really hit all the players and the parents very hard. What he did with the second part of his life was an inspiration and his legacy will live on. You’re free now, Travis. I imagine you’re skating in heaven with the other great hockey players who’ve gone before you. You’ll be greatly missed by all on earth.

  13. Had sad I live in Tucson AZ and I’m not a big Hockey fan but I know some about the game. And I have followed the Travis Roy story. My God bless him and his family, and they have my deepest condolences, for the loss of such a wonderful young man.

  14. I’m a former Boston area resident, NU alum, college hockey fan since @1959. I somewhat recall reading accounts of the game. Was concerned. Have tried to follow the history . A few years later at a Lake Placid hockey event, I recall participatng in a 50-50 event where the winner’s take was to be about $8000 with proceeds going to the Travis Roy Fund. Unfortunately, I purchased just one ticket — it proved to be one digit off in the ones place for the winner. Hope the actual winner did donate the sahre to the Roy Fund.

    I teared up when just reading the item. Condolences to the Roy family.

  15. Travis was an incredibly generous soul and an inspiration beyond belief. When my son, a BU student broke his neck in Bali, many wonderful people stepped up and supported him. Travis was one of them and his foundation made a big difference for our family. Travis also became a good friend and helped us on so many other levels. Like him, my son became quadriplegic at a young age in college. Travis gave us perspective, hope, and love. He showed us how to live with adversity. He gave so much of himself to so many others despite the strain it might cause on him. He was truly selfless and an amazing person, and we feel so blessed to have known him. We will miss him terribly.

  16. Those of us who rowed, played football and wrestled for Boston University used to brag about the weight we had lifted, the tackles we made and the take downs and escapes we effected in our careers on the water, sports fields and mats. In retrospect, with the maturity that age often gives us, I can only now begin to grasp the daily exertions Travis Roy has expended after his accident, when every movement, however slight, far exceeded the energy output my deadlifts, my curls and my bench presses required. No, we were not the tough guys. Far from it. Travis Roy’s strength of character and his refusal to surrender, despite the daunting score facing him and the declining numbers on the clock, provides a shining example of the unsurpassed daily courage of which I will always remain in awe.

  17. I am so sorry to hear this news – my sincerest condolences to the family. I was privileged to meet Travis when we were winners among the Ten Outsanding Young Leaders Awards from the Boston Chamber of Commerce in 2003. I’m a professor and chair of Community Health Sciences at BU and a BU CAS and BUSM alum having graduated just some 8 years before Travis’ injury. He was a cheerful and inspiring presence who impressed me for his ability to be that despite the obvious hardship. He had somehow turned it into a positive despite the obvious challenges of such a high up injury and severe physical limitations. It felt as if there should have been a special awards category for him – the rest of us simply were outstanding leaders, not having done so to rise above adversity as he had as part of his challenge. That is the inspirational part. I am glad to see his foundation lives on as he does in it. The world misses you Travis.

  18. Growing up a hockey player in Massachusetts and just a year younger than Travis, I remember that terrible news in 1995. Ever since, Travis continued to inspire us all. Though I never met him personally, I know he will be missed by many. My condolences to his family and friends.

  19. It’s always with great sorrow when someone who was a part of your life passes on , but it is with great pride that one can say, heh he was part of the positive’s in only the small time you knew them.
    Now, just learning how HE spent these last 25 years, makes my pride glow so much brighter, he has moved on to the next chapter of existence with that as his positive experience.
    Lee, he’ll forever be right there wherever you look, suffer, then recover well my friend .
    Positive “WAVELENGTHS” headed your way.

  20. Leaving Fenway Park one night in the late 1990s, I was headed to my car parked off Kenmore by the BU dorms. A young man in a wheelchair slowly motored past me on a dimly lit side street. Took me a minute, by I realized who it had to be, stopped & yelled, Travis??? The wheelchair slowed, then did a 180, and headed back my way. The street was suddenly lit up by his bigger than life smile, “Yes, that’s me. What’s your name?”. We made small talk about the Red Sox & Bruins for a minute or two, then bid each other adieu. Just a brief, friendly encounter between strangers. Driving back to New Hampshire, the big smile & warm greeting seemed hard to process from a guy dealt such awful cards by the hand of fate. I thought, how he could he be so upbeat? But that was Travis; a man who took the lemons life handed him, and made first-rate lemonade. Rest In Peace, #24

  21. I was a senior at BU when Travis was a freshman. He was gregarious, kind and popular. Fifteen years later, I was an assistant principal in Rhode Island, desperately looking for a poignant speaker to address the student body. Everyone wanted Travis, the problem was funding. Mortified, hoping he’d accept an installment plan and praying the BU connection would work, I called him. What a gracious, generous and unassuming man he was. “Sounds like you are a long way from Shelton Hall, he said kindly, “how about you just reimburse my transportation and I will take care of the rest?” I was awestruck, as was everyone in that packed auditorium. He was a powerful moving speaker as was an is his message. Whenever I see former students, they say, “Remember when Travis Roy came to our school?” A young woman using a wheelchair was tearing up. I thought Travis had left but there he was in a corner, whispering and encouraging her. “I’m going to go to the prom now,” she announced, “that guy just changed my life.” Thank you Travis for your generosity of heart and spirit. Rest in power.

  22. I lived in Lincoln, MA from 2000 to 2015 and was Chair of the town’s cultural council which was funded by grants from the state of MA. In this role I was part of a group which supported events that enriched the community and I was also allowed to put proposals up to the council for it to run. As a long time college hockey fan I was aware of Travis’ injury and learned that he had become a motivational speaker. So I put together a proposal to have him speak to the town’s middle school students as well as the community at large. He was both incredibly gracious as an individual and an inspiring speaker. It was clear from the large number of students who remained after the talk to purchase books and ask questions that he had a very strong impact on the members of our community myself included. I am glad I got the chance to meet him and arrange for him to speak.

    I am sure that he will be remembered by all whose lives he touched.

  23. I was so sorry to hear of Travis passing. Just a few months ago I was flying home from Indiana and got on my flight looked over and Travis was on the same flight as me. I said hi and went on with getting my seat. So sorry for the family what a nice man we lost to this world.
    FRom KRisten Tully

  24. I am deeply saddened to hear this news. I had the privilege of knowing Travis as a student at BU. I was a student learning to become a physical therapist. We had the opportunity to work with each other for several months. He was handsome, kind, brave, and absolutely inspirational! Reading about his life’s work made me smile and encouraged me to be the best I could be. I am so glad that he helped so many other people as well as warmed their hearts! Prayers to his family. You will be missed by so many Travis!

  25. I came in late to Walter Brown Arena and was standing in the corner when Travis collided with the boards and saw his father escorted on the ice where he learned Travis could not get up. It was the most tragic moment I have ever witnessed in my 77 years. His wonderful life after has brought me comfort.R.I.P.

  26. I did not know Travis Roy, but he was someone I admired from afar. I admired his ability to not be defined by his limitations. I admired his “never give up” attitude. I admired his ability to reach out to others through his Foundation. His parents deserve a great deal of credit for raising such a fine human being.

  27. I was spoiled when we won the 1977-78 NCAA Championship my freshman year and have been hooked on BU Hockey ever since. Fans at our games knew me as the BU Terrier, but nothing is more meaningful to me right now as the ROY 24 jersey I had custom-made years ago. I brought it out of my closet to hang in my living room as a tribute to a most courageous young man. May Travis’ memory be a blessing for his family.

  28. Rest In Peace Travis. You dignity touched more people than you’ll ever know.
    I like many others, volunteered to answer phones the morning of the initial fund raising telethon. It was going to be promoted by a couple of radio outlets and a TV station.
    On our questionnaire we were supposed to ask what radio or tv station they heard about the telethon. Within an hour, the question was no longer necessary because every single radio station and TV station in Boston was telling people to call us. The phones never stopped ringing and tears of appreciation kept falling from the eyes of everyone answering the phones. We took donations from $200 to $35 to $10 to $100 to food donations to “Can I donate time? I can build a ramp!” to “Just a moment, Can you speak to my son? He collected $21.35 from his fellow Second Grade class and he wants to donate it!” None of us wanted to stop taking the donation calls that morning because each call brought so much love to Babcock St. We reluctantly handed over our phones to the next volunteers because so many others were waiting there to take calls and accept the love pouring through those phone lines. Just another FYI as we were answering the phones Boston sports and entertainment celebrities started showing up to answer the phones and they were humbled by the outpouring of love that was filling that room. I will never forget how raucous and rocking Walter Brown Arena was opening night. I will always remember those 11 seconds and honor Travis’ bravery. I wish all of Boston could have witnessed the kindest and love that humanity showed during that telethon!

  29. For some reason,, Travis Roy’s Story come s into my thoughts often.
    I’m not particularly a Hockey fan, but what happen to Travis the terrible night was heartbreaking.
    I know how much good Travis did in his 45 yrs on earth.
    And to hear of his passing , was another heartbreak.
    Life can be so cruel. Almost 3yrs later it still bring s tears to my eyes
    I feel such sympathy for his Family .

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