He went to watch an ice hockey game, noticed something strange on a coach’s neck, and saved his life

Last October Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks met in the United States (USA TODAY Sports)
Last October Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks met in the United States (USA TODAY Sports)

On October 23, life changed for Brian Red Hamilton, a former ice hockey player who currently works as an assistant to the Vancouver Canucks, a franchise of the NHL, the North American league. During a game that night at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, against the Kraken, a young fan of the local team approached him and from the stands showed him a message through his cell phone: “That will remain forever etched in my brain and has made it possible for me to stay alive.”

On January 1, the hockey team published a letter written by him asking for help to find that girl from Seattle: “I am trying to find a very special person and I need the help of the hockey community. To this woman I’m trying to find: you changed my life and now I want to say thank you very much ”. It is that Hamilton did not know the identity of that young woman who months ago had warned him on the screen of her phone that the mole on her neck could be dangerous.

Indeed, after reading those words on the fan’s cell phone, the former athlete turned coach made a medical consultation and was surprised: “The mole on the back of my neck was a malignant melanoma and thanks to your persistence and the good work of the doctors, it is gone.”

Hours after the Canucks published Hamilton’s letter, Nadia Popovici she woke up to the noise of her phone: “I woke up to my mother’s phone call and she said, ‘Nadia, you have no idea what’s going on.’ She sent me the statement that (the Canucks) issued, and said they were looking for me. There were many screams. I could not believe it, “he said this Sunday in dialogue with the site Seattle Times.

Last Saturday the teams met again and donated USD 100,000 to a medical school (USA TODAY Sports)
Last Saturday the teams met again and donated USD 100,000 to a medical school (USA TODAY Sports)

In that interview, the 22-year-old medical student recalled what happened on October 23, when she went to watch a Kraken game using her stepfather’s tickets and from her seat in the stands she noticed that that mole on Hamilton’s neck it could be cancer: “He looked at my phone and walked away and I thought maybe he had already seen it. Maybe a doctor had already told him, ‘he’s probably fine’, I thought ”. But it was his warning that prompted the coach to head to a clinic where they detected that it was a type 2 malignant melanoma, that is, it had not yet penetrated the skin and therefore they had time to save it.

Popovic She said that during her time as a volunteer in hospitals she had seen a lot of melanomas, so she is easy to detect them. So that night decided not to waste time, get as close as possible to the glass and tell the technical assistant about it.

Last Saturday, the Kraken and the Canucks, they faced each other again and Hamilton searched the stands for the fan to tell her the story, but she was not there. Of course, on October 23 he had used the tickets of his stepfather, who surely was in that seat. “I have a wonderful family, I have a wonderful daughter and I think she extended my life. She didn’t get me out of a burning car like the great stories, she pulled me out of a slow fire, and then the words from the doctor’s mouth said that if I ignored that for four or five years, I wouldn’t be here“Said Hamilton.

The medical student was happy to know that she was able to help someone and also recognized that in recent months she wondered many times what had happened to Hamilton, because she did not know if his message had been effective: “I caught him at a time when everyone They were leaving and there was no one behind him and I showed him my phone and I am very happy that I did and I am very grateful to his wife or father who encouraged him to go. Get a checkup. “

Something similar happened in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, when the Australian swimmer Mack Horton, Olympic champion in the 400 meters freestyle in that edition, he received an email that reached the medical team of his delegation and that he alerted that the mole on his chest had changed shape and was darker. Quickly, the specialists ordered a biopsy that arrived on time.


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