It is no secret that a hockey team is a family. The bond between players and their families, billets, staff, volunteers, board members and community is truly unbreakable. This year the Mustangs organization found out that one of their own required a major heart procedure. Atley Barnett is the biggest Mustangs fan in Melfort, coming to every game, Atley is well-known by the whole Mustangs organization.
Atley is five years old, his dad Jordan is a board member and has been doing security for the club for many seasons. Atley is often seen helping with team projects like selling Coupon books, Road Hockey, and reading at the Library, and he is learning how to be the team’s Junior Equipment Manager.
In January 2024 Atley and his family will be heading to Edmonton for Heart Surgery, Atley was diagnosed with Pulmonary atresia and Intact Septum, the surgery will be to repair the Pulmonary Artery.
*The Pulmonary Artery is a vital organ that pumps blood and oxygen to the right side of your heart meaning it can affect lung functions.*
The Melfort Mustangs were extremely saddened to hear the news about Atley extending way beyond just the community of Melfort.
Aidyn Hutchinson-from St Albert Alberta, Wyatt Day- From Gordondale Alberta and Ty Thornton- from St Albert Alberta all had family out at the November 2023 Parent Billet weekend and heard about Atley and his surgery.
The Day Family has known Atley for a few years now as Atley and Wyatt have a very strong bond. The Day’s bought this season’s winning shooter in the team’s Calcutta Auction shootout Kaleb Binner, instead of keeping the money the Day family donated half their winnings to Atley and the other half back into the club.
The Hutchinson family also divided their winnings among the team and Atley, after they had won second place with purchasing Ty Thornton in the shootout.
And finally, the Thornton family purchased Ty’s game-worn white jersey in the Jersey Auction and donated it to Atley for him to grow into.
Atley’s presence at games will be missed while he is away and healing, the Mustangs wish him the best and most success with his procedure. Atley will be dropping the puck at the December 15th Mustangs game versus Nipawin as a send-off before heading to Edmonton in the following weeks.