But is there a doctor in the arena?
Urgent-care physician and hockey fan Dr. Patricia Higgins got a taste of her own type of medicine after an encounter with a puck during a recent Stanley Cup final game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins.
“I was paying attention to the game the whole time and I heard the slap shot and knew the puck was coming into our area,” said Higgins, a Blackhawks fan with 11th-row season tickets who works at Maywood, Ill.-based Loyola University Health System. “I looked up from the ice and the puck smashed me right in the face.”
Higgins said she felt blood on her forehead and couldn’t see a thing. Nearby fans donated their promotional rally towels to help stop the bleeding. A paramedic told her she was being taken to the first-aid station, but Higgins recalled that she said they better take her to a hospital instead. Higgins said it was a couple of hours into her visit at Rush University Medical Center before they knew she was a physician, and then the doctor apologized for explaining her injuries and their treatment in simple layman’s terms. “I said, treat me like a patient, that’s what I am right now.”
Higgins received notoriety when a neighbor, Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl, posted a picture of her wounded face online. She then received a visit from another neighbor, Blackhawk Hall of Famer Stan Mikita, who gave her an autographed jersey (or “sweater,” as hockey players call it) with the note “Thanks for taking one for the team.”
Higgins suffered lacerations that “went down to the bone” and said she still has headaches and the vision in her right eye is still hazy. But the doc says she feels lucky that the injury wasn’t worse and the team’s promotional giveaway worked in her favor. “If they gave away bobble-heads, it would not have helped as much as the rally towels probably,” she said.
Blackhawks Hall of Famer Stan Mikita gave Higgins an autographed jersey to help ease the pain of her hockey injury.