Mishakov Still Waiting For Surgery

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Mishakov Biography

Amidst the joyous celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series in September 2002 was the sad story of the plight of several of the Russian hockey heroes, most notably Evgeny Mishakov.

Mishakov's story was highlighted across Canada by newspaper feature stories and television crews during those few days in September. Living on a puny military pension that paid him about $3 a day, Mishakov couldn't afford the major surgery he desperately needed to both of his knees to keep him out of a wheel chair. 

The publicity stirred help from Canadians. But the spotlight quickly faded, and the story quickly was forgotten. Nearly a year later, Evgeny Mishakov is still waiting for the surgery he needs.

Things were looking up for Mishakov. For the first time in 30 years, Mishakov was in the spotlight again, and, seemingly with all the help falling perfectly in place, everything seemed rosy. A Canadian doctor, Dr. Lowell Van Zuiden of Calgary, generously offered to donate his services free of charge, while Ron Ellis pledged to help arrange the necessary $15,000 of financing for the travel and after care expenses.

So why did things fail to progress?

Dr. Van Zuiden says the surgery never was performed due to multiple medical concerns.

"I have indirectly been advised that Mr. Mishakov has other medical issues that require detailed assessment prior to consideration for surgery," said Van Zuiden.

It is unclear how much financing was ever raised for Mishakov, though significant additional funding likely would have been required if Mishakov were to have an extended stay in Canada to deal with all of his medical concerns to make the knee surgeries possible.

"The financial issues were a secondary consideration," said Van Zuiden.

Barring a miracle, it appears that Mishakov will not be getting the surgery he needs anytime soon.