Fmr. Minnesota sportswriter battling ALS suffers brain injury, not expected to recover

A former Wild exec and Minnesota sportswriter has suffered a "catastrophic brain injury" and isn't expected to recover, according to his family. 

Chris Snow, an assistant general manager for the Calgary Flames, has publicly battled ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for four years. His wife, Kelsie, shared a heartbreaking Twitter update Wednesday saying that Chris Snow became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest. She wrote, "Doctors do not expect him to wake up from this. My chest feels cracked open and hollowed out."

The Flames also thanked the father of two Wednesday for the impact he's had on the organization, calling Snow "a beacon of light" in a Twitter post.

In the early 2000s, Snow was a recognized name in Minnesota's hockey community. He was a Wild beat writer for the Star Tribune who was so knowledgeable about the sport that he was hired by the team as director of hockey operations. He went on to work for the Calgary Flames and became an assistant general manager in 2019. 

The same year, he was diagnosed with ALS. Kelsie Snow’s social media updates show Chris Snow was initially given 6-12 months to live, but instead, it's been more than four years.

"Six to 12 months is a pretty quick prognosis, but unfortunately, the average prognosis is still pretty alarming at two to five years," said Marianne Keuhn, the managing director of care services at the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota chapter of the ALS Association.

Keuhn said the more people can bring attention to this progressive neurogenerative disease, the more fundraising and research there will be.

"We've known about this disease since the late 1800s, which is unbelievable to me that we really only have four or five treatments available," she explained.

The Snow family credits clinical trials involving Tofersen, a drug that was just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year, as the reason they got more time together. Keuhn said the drug is the first gene-based therapy for ALS, meaning doctors can identify a specific gene that is malfunctioning in someone's body.

"We have more research trials going on right now and clinical trials going on right now than we have in many years past. I feel like the momentum has been building especially since 2014 with the Ice Bucket Challenge," she said.