John Hessler

One Team, One Hope, Team Hessler

Letters from John's parents June and Keith Hessler, his brother Jason, his sister Jolene, and close friends Jenn Baker and Stacy Patterson.

Please see the home page for messages from his family posted after July 28, 2004....

 

 

July 28, 2004

 

Update from John's brother Jason Hessler:

 

I know we (the family) have not updated this in awhile, but as everybody knows, it will be a long process. I get to work with John everyday and he never seems to amaze me. Everyday his spirits are very high and always makes me laugh. He is walking with crutches by himself, although slow, he has came along way. We go to the pool up here and he can walk by himself in there. He is starting to remember things alot more, and for anybody who knew him before that is scary. He has passed the 9-month mark and surpassed any doctor’s expectations. Thank you to everybody out there for everything they have done. To everybody that is involved from day to day thank you and I love you all. As we all know the battle is not over yet, but we got a great leader in John. I know I don't speak for myself when I say THANK YOU John for being you, and I love you.

 

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July 22, 2004

 

Message to John from Jolene

 

Hey there John,

 

I continue to find strength from your endless spirit everyday! Everywhere we go people are inspired by your incredible determination and appreciation for life. You are truly an angel placed here to make a difference. You give people looking for reasons why, a reason to always believe.

-We make a Living by what we get, we make a Life with what we give.

-God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

-If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

 

I find reasons to love my life everyday, in large part thanks to you!

 

I love you! God Bless.....

 

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June 24, 2004

 

Update from John's parents June & Keith

 

Hard to believe it has almost been a month since we got John home. We also now have Devin here for the summer and John is so happy to have him around, and so are we, he will stimulate John far more than any of us.

 

The one thing about a small town is everything is within walking distance and Julesburg has opened their arms to us and anything we can do to help John. Jason goes to High school (1 block away) to work out everyday and takes John over to wheel around the halls. Our oldest son Josh works there and John tells him his floors are uneven cause he keeps going to the left with his wheelchair. The left arm is still stronger.

 

We have a golf course outside of town so last night Jason took him out there a left him drive a golf cart. It was the first time he has driven anything since the accident. John was pretty proud of himself.

 

He is doing so well in therapy and the "I can't" is getting less and less.

We make him write everyday and the first sentence is "I am going to get well".

 

The funniest is that John could not get it in his head that he graduated from College and would keep asking did I graduate or am I still in High School. Well I finally found his certificate and he has quit asking, and he finally believes us.

 

The strides are small but as long as we keep going forward that is all I want.

 

I still see an Alaskan cruise without my kids in my future?????

 

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June 6, 2004

 

From John's parents June & Keith

 

Hard to believe it has almost been a month since we got John home. We also now have Devin here for the summer and John is so happy to have him around, and so are we, he will stimulate John far more than any of us.

The one thing about a small town is everything is within walking distance and Julesburg has opened their arms to us and anything we can do to help John. Jason goes to High school (1 block away) to work out everyday and takes John over to wheel around the halls. Our oldest son Josh works there and John tells him his floors are uneven cause he keeps going to the left with his wheelchair. The left arm is still stronger.

 

We have a golf course outside of town so last night Jason took him out there a left him drive a golf cart. It was the first time he has driven anything since the accident. John was pretty proud of himeself.

 

He is doing so well in therapy and the "I can't" is getting less and less.

We make him write everyday and the first sentence is "I am going to get well".

The funniest is that John could not get it in his head that he graduated from College and would keep asking did I graduate or am I still in High School. Well I finally found his certificate and he has quit asking, and he finally believes us.

The strides are small but as long as we keep going forward that is all I want. I still see a Alaskan cruise without my kids in my future?????

 

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June 6, 2004

 

From John's parents June & Keith

 

Hi everyone and thank you all again for all your support for John and us. John is at home and is doing very well. Jason our youngest son moved out to Julesburg to help. Thank God we have a good sized home as the shoes at the door are bigger, appetites are bigger etc. Certainly is a total change from what we were used to but what a great change it has been. John continues to improve mentally and physically everyday. Jason rehabs him religiously everyday twice a day. I also have a reflexologist coming in who has given us simple things to do to improve John mentally and physically. Jason has him standing against the wall for 10 minutes with no hands on.

 

The part that I enjoy is that Jason has been John's shadow as it is with younger siblings and John says no he's not going to do something so Jason just stands there and tells him if he doesn't do it he will have to start over. Then we hear the laugh and for those who know John he has a very distinctive laugh and he says OK I'll do it and does it cause Jason will start over and he knows it. John is using the excuse of "I'm handicapped" less and less cause we won't accept it.

 

Speaking as a parent it has been an experience watching your children handle crisis like they have never seen before. It has truly been a pleasure watching them develop into stronger people.

 

I have tried to write thank you notes to everyone, but if I have missed some it is not intentional. Again thank you all for your support.

 

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May 24, 2004

 

From John's brother-in-law Kevin Davis:

 

John,

 

I cannot believe that we are only 2 days away from your release from Craig. These last 7 months have aged us all, to say the least, however, I keep thinking in the back of my mind that IT HAS ONLY BEEN 7 MONTHS, and what a remarkable recovery you have made in that short amount of time. You, again, have showed your toughness, your courage, your grit, and your zest for life throughout the entire process, all very admirable qualities. I commented to Jolene this last weekend that October 19th was, by far, the worst day of my life. The days following were full of uncertainty, unknown and never-felt-before emotions. But we were all able to find a calming, positive vibe when we would enter your hospital room, the same vibe we feel when we are around you now and the same vibe we felt being around you prior to October 19th. I was raised with the philosophy that "God works in mysterious ways," and that "Everything happens for a reason." I have been searching and searching for a reason why this happened to you. The only thing that I could come up with is that very few people would have had the ability to overcome this obstacle. You were chosen to make US all realize just how prescious life really is, how we need to cherish every moment with our loved ones, how we must smile and laugh and enjoy each and every moment, and how we need to tackle obstacles in our paths with reckless abandon. I admire you for what you stand for, what you are about, what you have overcome, and for what you will be in the future. I am still trying to study and aquire the "John Hessler Philosophy of Life," and I know, with time, it will just kind of rub off on me. Like I told you yesterday, "it is all down-hill from here brother!"

I would also like to thank everyone out there who had a part in John's recovery. It would be physically impossible to mention each and every person, so I will just generalize. First, to all of the emergency personnel on scene, especially Rich, Denver Health and PSL, the staff and patients of Craig Hospital, and the surgical team at Saint Joseph's. To all of the Hessler family friends and loved ones (this covers a WHOLE lot of people.) You are all amazing. Thank you for being there in so many ways when things were needed. Thank you to the local media for understanding. Thank you to Jenn for helping us deal with things we never thought we would have to deal with. A big thank you to Vikan, Regis, CU, and the entire community of Brighton.

 

I know John says "thank you" over a hundred times a day now, but I would like to thank the Hessler and Montoya family's on his behalf for getting John to where he is today. Sanja, you and your family have been completing amazing from day one. It is truly an honor to have you in our lives. June, Keith, Josh, Tina, Shane, Devin, Jason, thanks for doing whatever it took to get John better, and more importantly, thanks in advance for doing whatever it will take to get John to that next level. And to Jolene, thank you so much for just being you. Thank you for doing whatever it took in John's healing process, but still being able to handle me and take care of our family. You are truly an amazing person.

 

The next step in John's journey being now. Thank you ALL for being a part of it!

 

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May 18, 2004

 

From John's son Devin:

 

DADDY,

 

I MISS YOU. ARE YOU WOKING HARD? GET READY SO WE COULD GO FISHING THIS SUMMER. DO NOT WORRY I AM WORKING HARD IN SCHOOL. I GOT THE HIGHEST SCORE ON MY SPELLING TEST IN THE WHOLE CLASS-"NOBODY ELSE" ! I LOVE YOU.

LOVE, DEVIN

 

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May 7, 2004

 

Update from Sanja

 

I Would like to take this moment and thank the wonderful town of Brighton! This past week has been amazing. To start with, thank you to the wonderful staff and students and parents at Vikan middle school! The spaghetti dinner was awesome. For John,you made May 2nd a day filled unforgettable memories from the past and created new memories for the future, . I enjoyed watching his face light up seeing all of you.

 

Second, thank you to the wonderful staff and students at South Elementary. You read-athon was so special. It is so kind of you to take time out of your busy lives and put on such a wonderful event. I have never witnessed such well-mannered and behaved students! Very impressive!

 

Finally, thank you to all the sponsors who helped contribute to this unforgettable week. A special BIG THANK YOU to all of John's supporters. We could not be getting through this without you. Please keep up the positive thoughts and prayers, they are helping us witness miracles every day!

 

 

John continues to make improvements daily. He is being released from rehab at the end of May. Let the count down begin!

Now that he is at the end of rehab, his daily schedule has become more intense and strenuous, but John is dealing with it like a champ!

John has two more surgeries planned. In about three months John will be having surgery on his right eye. During the accident John's retina became filled with fluid and blood from the trauma to his head. The surgery will clear that out so he is able to see better.

John's second surgery is more serious and will not be done until October. During his coma, John developed H.O. (sorry I do not know what the medical term is.) Bone formed in John's hip joint, and is not allowing him to adduct or abduct his left leg. Therefore, John has to have it surgically removed in October. After that he will be able to walk again!

In the meantime, John will continue to undergo daily, strenuous outpatient therapy. He has come far on his road to recovery, but he still has a tough road to continue on. So please keep up your positive thoughts and encouragement, they help tremendously.

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May 3, 2004

 

I sit and write with such an uplifted and inspired heart, thanks to

everyone who made yesterday an experience never to be forgotten.  To all

the students at Vikan Middle School thank you for showing such admiration

and love towards my brother.   Someone I have found joy in learning from

and I hope you all find yourselves learning the positives of life from.

Never stop believing in yourselves, the future is yours to decide and by

the way you all handled yourselves yesterday, I am proud of each and every

one of you, with all my sincere love, thank you!

 

When we said our final "I'll see you later" to the staff at Vikan, the

exhaustion was obvious but the admiration was even more evident.  You all

worked so hard to insure John......Brighton is home!  So many memories have

been made in that school but the one made yesterday will be the closest to

his heart.  You guys went above and beyond anything we imagined that day to

be.  We are so proud to have been part of such an exhilarating day with a

heavenly staff leading the way, thanks to all!

 

The community of Brighton is one that steps up to any call and opportunity

to show their support.   We are still trying to get over how many people

came to encourage John "NEVER GIVE UP".  John was so tired, but don't get

me wrong, he could of lasted another three hours!  It was so gratifying to

witness faces of inspiration apparent on everyone who came across John.

The world we live in has an abundance of bad things that happen so to be

part of a bad thing transformed to good restores faith and gives us all a

reason to believe, GOD does bless us in mysterious ways.

Make it a good day!

 

Jolene

 

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April 29, 2004

 

Jenn Baker

 

Together  

Everyone

Achieves

More       

 

Team Hessler supporters, that phrase could not be more true. From the bottom on my heart, on behalf of John and his entire family, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU! We are two days away from John's fundraiser and we are sold out - all because individuals like you stepped in to show your support of John!

 

I would also like to thank all of you that continue to support John with letters of encouragement, items for the silent auction and other monetary contributions.

 

 

The road to recovery is definitely a journey and John is so lucky to have people like you to join him along the way!

 

Thank you again for everything, please keep writing to John in the guestbook and watching the website for details of other upcoming events for John.

 

With love and gratitude to each and every one of you-

 

Jenn Baker

Family Spokesperson and April 1 Event Chair

 

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April 20, 2004

 

Jason Hessler  

08:32:47 AM 

 

John it's hard to believe it has been 6 months yesterday (Oct. 19). It's been a roller coaster ride that has a light at the end of the tunnel. Everynight I leave gets harder because I know you want to come home with me. Right know the schedule is for John to be released at the end of May with continous rehab to be done at home. He is in a position that mentally he gets better everyday. Physically he gets stronger but until the HO in his hip fully matures and is removed surgically he can't walk "normal." This procedure is a wait and see how the HO develops but will allow him to walk again. We are told it usually takes about one year to mature. The family thanks everybody for their continous support. 

 

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Here is a special message from John himself -

 

March 27, 2004

 

Hello everybody,

 

I am feeling good. I am scarfing down a burrito and spice cake right now. Oh and I'm on my forth Dr.Pepper. I push myself in therpay everyday to walk, I really miss walking. Thank you for all the e-mails people. To the Vikan students thanks for all the nice words. You all are so great, the end!

 

To my Sanja, you are the greatest. I love you more than you know. Thank you for the wonderful year together 'Lovebug'! 

 

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March 9, 2004

 

Update from Jolene:

 

We were picked up at 1pm on Sunday (3-7-2004) by the hospitality van and started the

10 minute drive to take John HOME for the first time in almost five months.

John was granted a day pass that allowed all of us time to spend with John

in a setting we hope will be in our near future.  At this time the end of

April has been announced as a possible discharge date.  To some of you a

month and a half seems long but after six months of visiting a loved one at

a hospital this next month and a half will be very anticipated and exciting

for all especially John.  After he is discharged, John will have to

continue the rigorous therapy treatments several times a week.

 

The minute we walked into the living room, John blurts out, "There's my

chair".  A few minutes later John and Sanja were nice and snugly on "his

chair" as if they never left it.  It was so nice to look at a backyard and

see John's reflection off the window.  To watch John suck up the air

outside, smell the delicious pork loin bar-b-queing, laughing at the kids

playing soccer and for the first time in a very long time feeling normal,

it was such a rewarding experience for all involved.  His body still lacks

endurance but there was no way he was leaving before the scheduled pick up,

which was 6pm.  I have not seen us all smile as much as we did that day, it

felt so good, a new beginning.

 

So many people have helped make this horrible accident, a life altering

event we will never forget.  My mom loves reading through the letters you

have all sent.  She gets such a thrill receiving heart warming letters from

the elderly that most likely don't have $10.00 to just spend on anything

but have fallen in love with this amazing 'kid' who has defied all odds and

has become someone deserving of their worth.  Thanks to you all for the

amazing support!

 

One Team...One Hope...

 

Jolene

 

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March 1, 2004

 

Update from Jolene:

 

It feels so good knowing John is back on the road to recovery and the word "home" instead of "hospital" can start being used. As mentioned before John's surgery went better than the neurosurgeons imagined. He looks great and most importantly is "whole again". He returned to rehab today and we told the therapists now is when John performs best, underpressure with everyone but him stressed. At least seven times a day John hears: "Devin (John's son)will be here soon and he wants to see more than anybody how hard his daddy works daily, so push the limits".

 

I don't want to confuse anyone, John is still not walking. He has been standing for up to 15 minutes with help from therapists and a machine. In the pool he does take steps with help. Our hopes are with the cranioplasty done his balance and thought process will increase drastically. So far, so good. John will need at least a couple more months of intense therapies before he will be able to come to a home setting and function.

 

Please everyone take time and read about the fundraisers being planned. The One Team...One Hope...One Night for John Hessler on April 1st will be the start to many great opportunities to show your support. John is truly loved and it warms my heart with all the outpouring you have given. The family as well as John thank you...

 

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February 23, 2004

 

Update from Jason after John's Surgery:

 

Well John, we just got home from a long day, I can't imagine the day you had. Before I left, when I saw you, you were still pretty drugged up but looked great. Everything went as planned and from here on out the ball is in your court!

 

A special story about John:  Last night when we were getting John settled into the hospital where the surgery was taking place, we had some special guests come up and say a prayer with John and the family. The guests were Father Sydney and Coach Ryan from Regis High School. We prayed for the surgery to go well and the path to recovery a little quicker. After the prayer John looked up at Father Sydney with a smile and said, "Amen brother!" John will always have his sense of humor!

 

Update from Jenn Baker:

 

JOHN HESSLER IS SUCH A FIGHTER!!! Great news everyone - John's surgery went so well that even the doctor said, "nothing could have gone better"! John was in good spirits this morning and surrounded by so many people that loved him - while we know the rest of you were keeping him in your prayers...and it all went smooth and our Johnny is now "whole" again!

 

The entire family asked that I thank everyone for your continued love and support, as we have all said so many times, "One Team - One Hope" and they couldn't have gone through this without you! John's sense of humor is really shining through these days, yet his humbleness still cannot fathom how many people have reached out in support. Jolene reads him excerpts from your letters and emails and he is always smiling!

 

So now we can all cross "more surgery" off John's list and continue to focus on the road ahead! Please stay tuned to the website and the hotline for more information to come on John's continued progress and details about fundraisers and other Team Hessler activities!

 

Much love and gratitude to you all and remember to take a minute to tell everyone in your life how much they truly mean to you each and every day!

 

 

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Message From June and Keith Hessler before John's surgery:

 

February 22, 2004

 

To John:

Well Big Boy we have gone through a lot in our lifetime together, both good and bad. But somehow the good is over riding the bad now.

 

The much anticipated day is soon here. You called last night and wanted us to come and take you home, but we can't just yet. You have a few more tests to pass and you will pass them, I have no doubt about it.

 

You have to be strong yet and you have to draw your energy from us and others. God has taken you this far and He will not let you down now.

 

To John's extend family we need all the positive energy we can get on Monday, both for us and John.

 

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February 18, 2004

 

Hello everyone,

 

This week is filled with lots of anticipation.....As a family we are asking

for lots of prayers and positive thoughts for John. For he will be going in

sometime by Monday for the cranioplasty.  After the accident, John's brain

suffered a very traumatic injury resulting in the neurosurgeons to have to

remove part of John's skull so the brain could heal.  Well the brain has

healed and now it is time to make John "whole again".  Like any surgery

this one is scary for all involved.  We have reserved a hotel room across

the street from the hospital and will have someone next to John around the

clock.  But please take five minutes out of your day and ask "The Big Man

Upstairs" to bless us with a successful surgery and recovery.   We will

keep you all informed of John's status as it becomes available.  John is

not walking or standing on his own yet.  Hours of therapy is required daily

and will be needed for a many months to come, which leads me to........

 

There are several fund-raising events that will be taking place and the

need has never been greater.  John's insurance has been wonderful through

this entire ordeal, but his rehab days will be running out the middle of

March.  Unfortunately, John is not ready to come home yet.  So these events

are being planned to help pay for John to stay in rehab and have a much

higher chance to recover FULLY!  The outpouring of love for John has been

AMAZING!  Vikan Midddle School along with George and Laurie Poston of

Maggiano's, Regis Jesuit High School and Coach Jim Ryan, University of

Colorado and Dave Plati, Invesco Field and Patty Moser, one of my best

friends and the spokeswoman of the year Jenn Baker, John's future

father-in-law, Bruce Montoya.......thank you all for your continuous and

endless effort, we are all

ONE TEAM....WITH ONE HOPE....JOHN HESSLER.

 

Event dates will be following very soon, please just stay updated through

this website and hotline 1(888)674-3482.  Thank you all for the support and

love you show daily.

 

Love and Bless You All...........The Hessler Family

 

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February 2nd 2004

 

Hello family, friends and supporters of John....

 

Some days it feels like the accident happened over three months ago and others like it was yesterday. John has been doing well. He has started swimming which he loves because unlike a normal pool where it takes a few minutes to get used to, this one is heated like a hot tub, nice from the get-go. In the pool he has stood on his own for a short time and has taken a few steps. It is an amazing sight to see considering we haven't seen that in so long, I almost forget how tall he is. The pool gives him the ability to stand with less pain in his hip and more bouancy. John's spirits remain good and at times contagious with his humor, but there are those moments where he gets tired and needs to be left alone to rest. John has moved to a team setting at rehab, which ables him to become more independent. His daily routine consists of begging the nursing staff to push the snooze button for five more minutes, brushing his teeth and trying to stuff his face with eggs and bacon before therapy occupies his day. His therpists are encouraged, the challenge lies with John. His brain is still very much in the healing process and his body still sore from not being mobile. There are days John can tell you the date without looking at the calendar and others where it is the 4th of July with snow on the ground. We are in the 14th mile of the 26th mile marathon, we made it past the half way. John is excepted to go in for another surgery soon, as a family we ask for all the prayers and amazing support to continue. There are some fundraising events for John being planned at this time, we are currently at a financial crossroad regarding John's rehabilitation and we will keep you updated once dates become available. Thank you all again for being so amazing!

 

Jolene

 

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On the Road Again...

 

January 12, 2004 - From June & Keith Hessler

 

Our theme song is "On the Road Again", as we have traveled over 2000 miles since 1/1. My mother died in S. Dak. on 1/1 so was back there for a while. Talk about cold even our car rebelled by a plugged fuel filter, heater fan that won't come on and a "nice" deer who stayed standing on the edge of the road while we passed her.

 

John is really doing well despite some set back along the way. He had developed blood clots in both legs but with the use of blood thinners and a filter put in his body they remained in his legs.

 

The biggest set back is the abnormal growth of bone (which I never knew is a complication of brain injury) in his pelvic area is causing him lots of pain and is hindering his standing and walking. They are giving him meds to help the calcified bone. I would like to hear from some other brain injury patients who had this and what they did and how you are now.

 

I will confess that this stage has been the hardest of all on us, but the small improvements are better than none at all. Mark K. described it perfectly in his article as a purgatory, and it truly is at times.

 

But the good points of his emotions, sense of humor, smile coming back are great to see.

 

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and please keep us in them yet as we still have obstacles to conquer.

 

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Happy New Year!

 

December 31, 2003 - From Sanja

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY! These past few days have been so wonderful watching you Devin, and Dominic goofing around again. I have not seen you this happy for a long time There will be many more great and happy times for all of us in 2004.

I love watching improvements in your strength and spirit everyday.

 

I love you!! and I am so proud of you. I am excited to celebrate our accomplishments, and create new happy memories in 2004.

 

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Reunited...

 

Sunday, 12/28/2003

 

Dear John, 

 

I just wanted to make sure you remembered this day 12/28/03.  It was the first time since this whole thing began that you got to squeeze that special little boy of yours and he got to see that his daddy is truly alive!  What a day.......

 

Sanja arrived with McDonald's for you this morning, you were just finishing up when I came.  We promised after you brushed your teeth and shaved we would let you lay down before the long anticipated reunion happened.  You became agitated and the best thing for all of us was a nap for "Oscar".  We call you that when you are in these moods, you usual laugh at us then agree.  We left for awhile and went to lunch when we came back we woke you up.  You ate a great lunch while I read you entries from JohnHessler.com.  The whole afternoon every conversation involved Devin.  We can admit it now John, Sanja and I had major butterflies before Devin walked in that doorway.  This week has been hard, not only because my big brother wasn't with us at home for Christmas but also because you have been so upset with what has happened to you and we are the ones that give our best efforts to reassure you everything will be fine.  Then.......

 

We got a call over the intercom, "Is there anyone in there with John?"  "Yep", I replied.  "His son is here at the nurses station".  I only heard "his son" and I was out of there.  I ran faster than Aunt JoJo has ever ran to hold that wonderful boy for a brief second before taking him to his daddy who has never looked so handsome and happy.  John, you beamed with excitement but more than  anything LOVE!  Love for your little buddy who is the reason you have fought back everyday and overcame this tragic accident, giving us all a reason to believe in miracles.  You did not want to let go of that first hug and your smile, oh your gorgeous smile, you both were radiant.   Everyone in the room had a pile of tears building in the eyes.  The butterflies Sanja and I had earlier were because we didn't know how you were going to be.  Whether it was going to bug you that Devin wasn't going to be able to see the daddy that could throw him really high and catch him, the daddy that could throw a ball farther than anyone else or the daddy who could chase him.  None of those things happened today instead Devin saw the daddy who will be able to toss him up once again, the daddy that practices everyday throwing balls and the daddy who pours his heart and soul into therapies to catch you soon enough, but most of all Devin saw a daddy who loves him.  He loves everything about his little buddy, the way Devin tries so hard to tie his shoes, loves his gameboy, is not a good wheelchair driver, has a dirty room, has friends that are a grade ahead of him making him cooler and does not want to be part of the 'boys club' because they say bad words.  I will forever remember this day, that smile left on your face and the last words before I shut your door, "Thank you for this day!"

 

Love,

 

Jolene - your little sister

 

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December 12, 2003

 

Sorry we have not updated this for awhile but with what we have been through the past 2+ months, when good things happen we just kinda hold our breath.

John won "regional play" with a few set back, but none that could not be handled.

 

 

He is now in the "state" playoffs and the true test of grit will be on him. He still needs his infield and outfield though as not pitching really good yet.

He recognizes everyone and is starting to get his sense of humor back. He is eating real food and enjoys every last bite of it.

 

O.T and P.T. are working with him daily and will present the biggest challenge to him. He still has a peice of bone out of his head and needs to wear a helmet for head protection, and be careful he doesn't hit his head.

 

John has been taken to view his web site and said "WOW, all for me".

 

Thank you all again and please keep us in your prayers as that is what has gotten us this far.

 

June & Keith Hessler

 

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The below entry was written by Jolene Davis, John's younger sister.

It's a beautiful...

 

The man, the myth, the legend himself November 26th 2003 12:30:11 AM

 

John is so unpredictable but yet so easy to read. I am going to view life through his eyes months from now, here it goes:

 

First of all, to the fiancé/wife (my family was so overwhelmed when you stopped by the waiting room they weren't clear on which, I apologize) that knew her husband needed to stop at the scene to open my airway and give me life on Sunday evening around 4:35 on the 19th of October, 2003, thank you. I cannot wait until we can gather on that date yearly just so I can say thanks for being my first angel encounter.

 

Then to Kelci, you were there in the emergency room when I arrived as a John Doe and took that second glance at my badly injured body and said, "Oh my GOD, I know who that is". Then your instincts took over and you called my family to be there for me, thank you for being my angel.

 

To all the Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and Staff at Denver Health that were so determined to save me, YOU DID! Thank you for working so hard and so well together to accomplish this miraculous task.

 

To the amazing staff in the Trauma ICU you were all so determined to do whatever needed to be done daily for me. Whether that be breaking my temperature that had haunted me or just being there to listen to my family tell stories. You are all amazing! Mike (Everyone loves Mike/Raymond), Kate and good ole' Sue don't change one thing about yourselves! Also Reggie, I need to know why I owe you the box of chocolates? My family says you definitely deserve it, so I will leave that as reason enough. But you have to share with Megan, because I remember her being your partner in crime.

 

Then....there came the transfer to the new place and some guy named Jerry. I guess he was there to help my breathing and his favorite saying was, "time to rock and roll" and he succeeded. In no time, thanks to not only Jerry but all the staff I was without the annoying thing in my throat, thank goodness! The Doctors took care of any orders I needed and the nursing staff gave me excellent care. By the way thanks for setting up the extra bed for my family, I was getting homesick and it was nice sleeping next to my loved ones.

 

To my fellow VIKAN Knights, where do I start with thank you's here?? First to Doris, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with not only the greatest teaching staff but the coolest students around. I cannot wait until I get the opportunity to walk into that place and have all 500 of you stomping, clapping and chanting HESSLER! Thank you for believing in me and yourself.

 

To the Regis community, I knew there was a reason I would drive 100+ miles daily to be with you guys. The mileage did not compare to the joy and excitement that coaching brought me. I never got sick of being with you, Sanja was sick of not seeing me during the season, but after meeting all of you she knew why I loved you all so much. The Regis players are top notch. Their beliefs and strengths are years above mine, even being years younger. One word of wisdom, ONE TEAM, ONE HOPE, we will always be!

 

To my Buffalo family, CU was a clear choice for me. My memories there go way beyond a computer screen. Mr. Plati, I noticed by your message in the guest book, you are still as funny as ever. Becky Cabral, I am requesting some of those cookies I haven't stopped hearing about. To the coaching staff, and players, thank you for standing up and believing in this soldier, your forever Buffalo.

 

To my mom, I love you and the amazing strength and encouragement you brought to the room daily. You have always kept us in line and I knew better not to make Junebug mad. So I fought mom, everyday I would give a little more and battle harder. Dad, you were in this battle once and I held your hand and told you everything was going to be okay just like you have done for me and it was. I feel truly blessed to call you my parents!

 

Josh I cannot wait to get out hunting and fishing. You are the only one that has a bigger competitive bone then me. Don't get all my pheasants and geese, I need bragging rights too!

 

Jason, Jason, Jason, big man I missed you! No one makes me laugh more than you. Have you found a girl yet? Come on ladies it would be nothing but an honored to date this guy because he is truly one of a kind! Hoops brother, get my shoes ready.

 

The game, AKA Stacy, are we every not going to be roommates? After 10 years why haven't we got sick of each other? The answer is easy because you are like my brother and I love you. Thank you for you dedication to me and my family. You always make a room that much more entertaining.

 

Big Red, thank you for being the man behind the man. I have never been one to be organized but you made it happen. You took care of things my family could not handle, gave them time to be with me, and always thought of them before yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Jenny Baker, I thought PR would be a cool gig, but way to much work! We all thank the man upstairs for you. You, like Kevin eliminated a million pounds of stress for the family.

 

Sanja, I hated to say goodnight, I would often ask for five more minutes, but knew I also had to share you with Dominic because he is special to us both and needed you as well. The hospital bed was not nearly as comfy as your arms and touch at night. Lovebug, it is time to disguised everyone with all our PDA, public display of affection. And I am sorry you had to take the teasing without me, but baby I am back to help defend against my siblings!

 

Devin, my little buddy, I cannot tell you how much I missed you and love you. You are daddy's number one receiver! I was so glad to hear how well you are doing in school. I cannot wait to throw you up in the air and never let you go. I missed your giggle and your funny jokes. Kid, they don't get any cooler than you and any prouder than me! We will be sitting by the ponds very soon, pulling out the big ones son, I promise.

 

To the angel who appeared to help me through this journey. You made this miraculous story end with a happy ending for all. No one knows how you got there, but I do!

 

To all the prayers said on my behalf, they worked! Believe in the power of miracles......

 

P.S. Jojo, we will talk very soon in person. It is late and I am still healing.

 

Love to you all,

John Keith Hessler, Jr.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 22, 2003

 

4:40 AM

 

Well, what a great last couple of days this has been for me. It all started on Thursday 11/20/03 afternoon when I was at the hospital visiting John. I saw some of the things John was doing while his sister Jolene was there and I was just blown away. He would try to tell her that he loved her and he would try to answer question that she asked. His eyes were wide-open will Jolene talked to him and he would look at her. I just thought to myself, "yeah he is waking up, but he is not all there yet."

 

Then something happen that floored me. Jolene left and I was the only person left in the room with John. Before Jolene left she told me to read to John and he would fall asleep. Well I took her advice, and started to read to John. The book I chose to read was John's guest book. This book contains different letters for people that have been by to visit John. As I started to read the book, John would turn his head towards me and look at me. After every letter that I read I would ask John do you remember this person, and I would see him move is lips. Most of the letters I read to him were from former CU players. I just thought it would be easier for him to remember.

 

Well I keep reading and asking questions, and after every question I asked, John would say yes or no. Most of the time he would say yes. Then I would laugh about some of the crazy times we had with this guy and John would smile with me. I was just blown away.

 

At the time it didn't really hit me that I was have a conversation with John. Well, I called John's girlfriend (Sanja) and told her what was going and she was just so excited. Well people that know me, knows that I'm just a laid back guy and don't get excited very much. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why John's girlfriend was so excited. Little did I know the importants of that conversation with John. I was just very happy that John could move around and crack his eyes.

 

I told everyone about in the family about our little talk, and they told other people. A dear friend of mine wrote me an email and told me how great it was. So I sat down that night and that about what happened at the hospital, and then it hit me. I just had a conversation with my good friend, who was suppose to be in a coma. No one knew how long he would be in that a coma, and I had just talked to him. It was the first time I had talked to John since his car accident. Let me tell you, no one knows how much of an honor it was to have just that small talk with John.

 

I wrote earlier in the week about playing thumb wars with John. I wrote in that posting that, I would come back and raise the stakes in the next game. Well John raised the stakes, not only did I play a game with him, I also talked to him. I'm honored and amazed.

 

I didn't think I would see anything more from John as far as waking up for a while. I say that because the things I mention before are just so amazing that I thought he would have to slow down a little. Well Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, they did. Yesterday, Friday 11/21/03, Jason, John's little brother called me and said "get down here". I said "why what's going on?" Jason said "Johns talking." So I hurry to the hospital think yeah well maybe he can say yes or no. I did think there would be any possible way that he would have his eyes open and responding to everything.

 

Boy was I wrong. When I got in the room John was wide awake. He was doing things like telling people bye, and hello. He would tell you what was wrong with him, like my back itches. I was just blown away. Then will I was sitting by his bed, said something to someone in the room then it happened. John turned his head and looked me directly in the eyes and said "that's Stacy, what up bro?"

 

There's nothing that I can write to tell you how that felt. Then later he called my name while I was talking to someone else and I asked him what he needed. He told me to take his tubes out, I said "what" and he just said take them out. I wanted to so bad, but that would not be good for him. I mean John wasn't just say yes and no. He was saying things in that same of corny Hessler sense of humor. We asked him how do you feel his response was "like sh@t. Jason told John how much he weighed and John's responds was "Jess."

 

He is that same wonderful guy he was before all of this. This day was sweeter then any victory, money can't buy the feeling I felt today. Nothing can make me feel like today. I can say about that today is HE'S BACK!!! Back stronger then ever. John welcome back buddy.

 

I just want say to the family, you guys are doing a great job with is whole thing. June (mother), Keith (father), Josh and his family (brother), Jolene and her family (sister), Jason (brother), and Sanja (girlfriend). You guy are absolutely amazing. The things that you are going through, and you stay strong. I have nothing but respect for all of you. You guys are like my family and Sanja you might even be my family soon I just want you to know that you are the best team I have ever seen. I've been around all of you guys a lot and I know that sometimes things seem tough. Sometimes you don't agree with each other. Well that happens on every team. Good teams fight through those things to get to the real battle. To good things the only thing that matter is reaching the goals. They make sacrifices and do things they don't want to do. No one person is bigger then the group. Well Team Hessler is all that and then some. I just hope that you guys will consider me a part of the team. Because the fight is just getting good and we need each other to win this one.

 

I just have to say this one more time HE'S BACK !!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 21, 2003

 

9:45 pm

From Jason Hessler:

 

"MY FAT HEAD BROTHER"  John, you have no idea about the day I have had. 

 

 

I've been staring at the screen wondering how to write what I feel.  Today was the day we got to see the car and get the personal items out of it.  Kevin (my brother in law) and I went to the tow yard around ten this morning. Kevin kept asking me if I would be all right seeing the car and warned me about it. In his job he see's this everyday, but not one with a loved one inside.  When we got there we met the state trooper and all looked at each other, took a deep breath and went back to see it. If there was every any doubt that you were the toughest guy I know, it was all erased when I saw the car. It gave me a little easier feeling knowing where you were and where you are now.

 

While collecting items Kevin came across an angel pendent in the middle counsel. No one can explain how it got there, but it was right there staring at Kevin. After getting all these items, we proceeded to the hospital. As everyone knows he has been progressing everyday. I prepared myself to see the car but I was not prepared to see or hear what you did when I walked into your room.

 

We walked in and Jolene said, "John you got someone here to see you, do you know who this is?" John REPLIED, "MY FAT HEAD BROTHER." I was floored, those are the tears of joy I have needed. He can talk and recognizes all the family and Sanja. Today has been the best day of my life. After 33 days a new chapter has opened "THE ROAD TO RECOVERY."  We played Devin and your song, you sang some of the words to us. John, I love you and thank you for being the man you are.

 

Devin start packing your bags little buddy, cause you are coming to see your daddy very soon........"

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 21, 2003

 

5:41 AM

 

Everyday is a new adventure and all on the positive side. He can breath on his own now for up to 12 hours at a time. We cannot tell you how nice and quiet it is in the room not hearing the machine going swish-swish.

I said I wanted "heat straight down the middle" well I am not going to complete this sentence at this time. Let me just say keep it up John.

I am just not going to worry about tomorrow till it becomes today.

God does work in mysterious ways.........

Thank you all for caring and sharing.

Love to all

The Family

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 19, 2003

 

Last night at the John's hospital room something happened to me that I thought I would never be happy that it happened. Last night I lost a game. Anyone that knows me, know that I hate to lose at anything I do. But this was different, I was so happy and so honored to lose this game. I know some of you are saying "what a loser, he is actually happy when he lose." I agree last night I was a loser, but in being a loser I was a bigger winner then I could have ever dreamed of.

 

The game I lost at last night was thumb wars. I know thumb wars what the big deal with that game? Well the big deal is who I played thumb wars with. Last night I play thumb wars with the one and only John Hessler. That's right John and I actually had wars of the thumbs. For the first time since the accident I interacted with the guy who I have been friends with since we started going to CU together. I've hear all these things from his family about what he can do, well last night I saw first hand what he can do. It had to be one of the best games of my life. Just a simple game of thumb war. But it was more then just a game. It was a sign of hope. It showed that John is a strong and tough person. It also showed what can happen when you believe in yourself. This shows that all of our prayers and thoughts for John are have a really positive effect on him.

 

John you don't know what that simple game of thumb wars did for me. It just makes my day to be in a game with you again no matter how big or how small. John I want you to know that there are still tons of people pulling for you and want give up on you, so don't you give up on yourself. John you better keep winning while the winning is good because you know that I'm going to come back hard and raise the stakes for the next game. But until then it was and honor to lose to you last night in our little game. I look forward to the next thumb wars.

 

Stacy Patterson

 

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November 18, 2003 / 7:48 pm

 

Hello Devin, family, friends and the amazing group of supporters!

 

My mom is usually the one to announce good news, but I asked for the honors this evening.

 

John has really done some pretty incredible things since Thursday. I walked into John's room that morning and knew from the first step I took inside that something inside my soul felt warm and encouraged. I did my usual "good morning and I love you John" and just as I was saying that while holding his hand he grapped my hand tighter than ever. I just thought he wanted some reassurance everything was going to be all right, but no, he was telling me "JoJo I am waking up"!

 

I did my usual morning routine, starting with brushing his teeth. As I was doing that, John being the clean man he is, opened his mouth wide, while sticking out his tonuge, as if saying "you missed a spot, go back". I had been waiting for this moment and have tried to prepare myself not to be "too" overreactive when it happened. So, I just got out of his view and did my own victory dance, right next to his bed, by the way, there was a reason my mom never registered me in any dance competitions!!! After regaining my composure I finished up the teeth....with his help. I held up his hand and he held the toothbrush and finished making those teeth sparkle like they never had before. After I love you John, I love you, I love you (please also add 1000 more I love yous' to that) then 1000 kisses, which by the way HE KISSES BACK!!!! My kisses aren't as special as Sanja's, but since Thursday I have received the most amazing blessing from the Lord, thank you Lord, we all thank you!

 

He has also opened his eyes, the left one more than the right, but we are all just so happy to see those baby blues, it doesn't matter. The eyes have not remained open consistently because John is still healing, but it will happen and we are THANKFUL!!!

 

As a family we thank all of you out there that go to your phone and computer daily to show your love and support for this amazing father, son, brother, uncle, Sanja's lovebug, teacher, coach and lifetime friend. You all have made us believe 100% in the power of prayers and positve thoughts. John still has a long road ahead of him but as a team we will conquer, I believe!

 

At this time no one but family and certain exceptions will be allowed in to go and see John. Not only because of the flu season being in full force but also because John cannot have a lot of simulation. Thank you all for understanding our wishes and we will continue to update the awakening as needed. Remember, it is one day at a time, some days being better than others,

but we are One Team...One Hope!

 

I love you John!!!!

 

JoJo (Jolene - John's sister)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 9, 2003 / 6:45 pm

 

O.K. everyone you had better be sitting down on this note cause it is finally encouraging. No he is not awake yet, but he is responding to commands. He lifts his thumb on command..... He squeezes your hand and then will let loose on command. Huge step for traumatic brain injury and much needed encouragement for the family.

 

We just can't say enough about this website and how you all have kept us going. Thank you all just doesn't seem enough but that is all we can do at this time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Love to all

John's family

 

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November 7, 2003

 

Dear John,

 

Mickie M. came up to visit and told us the story (which he also posted) of you not giving up the ball. Well we got you a baseball and you hung onto it daily.

 

You won Districts, but your pitching had a little to be desired. Way too many change up and curves. Thank God you had an awesome infield and outfield to save your butt many times.

 

You are now in Regionals. The batters are going to be tougher to strike out. There is no "Hessler Rules" in this one, some one else is ruling you. The batters are going to really push you to your limit. Just please try to throw heat straight down the middle. We can handle a few change ups and curves, but not so many this time. Just remember you still have your awesome infield and outfield and I think even the Umipire likes you.

We Love You

 

Your Family

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 3, 2003

 

Dear Devin,

 

Hey big buddy, tomorrow you will turn 6 years old and I hope I can give you a really great birthday present.

 

Your Dad is so close to waking up. His brain swelling is greatly improved. He is breathing on his own for a while but still needs the vent. to assist, but that's OK, because his lungs were pretty damaged and he still needs the good oxygen to breath.

 

Aunt JoJo, Sanja, Grandpa and I kept telling him all day today that you want him to wake up and see the rabbits and pheasants and geese flying. And that Uncle Josh and Shane need him to go fishing with them.

 

So Big Buddy you say a very special pray tonight for your Daddy to wake up on your special day.

 

Love ya

Grandma and Grandpa

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

October 31, 2003

 

This web site just keeps growing. Do you guys realize what strength you are giving to us through this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so anxious for John to wake up and read this-how's that for positive thinking?????

 

John is taking "baby" steps in so many things that are positive. He does grasp our hands, moves his feet and I truly believe he hears us.

 

He is still in a coma but that's OK the brain needs the rest to heal. He has opened his eyes for just a moment a couple of times.

 

He still needs the vent. to breath as he gets so tired to breath on his own yet.

I did corner his Doctor yesterday and the word Rehab came out of his mouth. Medically he is getting stable, now it is the waking up process and I am sure retraining process.

The saying of you never get to a mountain top without a valley to go through has certainly been our last 11 days. I am so looking forward to be able to stay on the mountain. I know there will be dips in the road yet, but please God no more valleys.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

October 26, 2003

 

Words cannot express our thanks for all the love and especially the prayers that all of you are giving to us and John's recovery. Keith and I are at home tonight and it is the first time I have read the web site. It is so awesome. Everyone has been telling us about the replies from around the world, but until you see it you can't believe it.

 

Let me update some as a nurse but most as a Mother who believes in the power of prayer.

 

The feeling and the presence of something in John's room is totally without understanding. It is a feeling of peace that I can not describe to anyone, but it is there. As with anything in life we don't know about tomorrow, but we made today and do see good signs everyday.

 

I want to share one story with you all that gave and still does give me goose bumps every time I tell it.

 

We had a young man from Safeway come up to the room the other day carrying these trays of food. I asked who they were from and he said "me". I said I know Safeway but what name sent them? He said "me" I said why you. He proceeded to tell us that he was behind John and he stopped and went to John's car and John wasn't breathing. So he went and opened the passenger door and got in and lifted John's head and he started to breath again right away. He stayed with John holding his head till the amb. got there. I still cry when I tell this story because this guy is truly a hero in our eyes. Thank you again for saving our son.....

 

As a nurse it is so awful up there because I know what they are talking about, but they have too. That is their job and I will accept it as their job, but the presence that is beyond understanding is way tooooo strong.

 

For you kids who know and love John so much I want to say that John would want you to do your very best in school and in anything else you do, not for him but for yourselves. You too will be adults someday and what you do now will form your adulthood. It is OK to feel sad for what happened to him but he would be so proud if someday you would come up to him and say I am the person I am today because of you.

 

It is sad but sometimes sadness it part of living.

 

Thank you all for listening to me, for your prayers and your outpouring of love.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Letters from John's parents June and Keith Hessler, his brother Jason, his sister Jolene, his girlfriend Sanja and close friends Jenn Baker and Stacy Patterson.

July 28, 2004

Update from John's brother Jason Hessler:

I know we (the family) have not updated this in awhile, but as everybody knows, it will be a long process. I get to work with John everyday and he never seems to amaze me. Everyday his spirits are very high and always makes me laugh. He is walking with crutches by himself, although slow, he has came along way. We go to the pool up here and he can walk by himself in there. He is starting to remember things alot more, and for anybody who knew him before that is scary. He has passed the 9-month mark and surpassed any doctor’s expectations. Thank you to everybody out there for everything they have done. To everybody that is involved from day to day thank you and I love you all. As we all know the battle is not over yet, but we got a great leader in John. I know I don't speak for myself when I say THANK YOU John for being you, and I love you.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 22, 2004

Message to John from Jolene

Hey there John,

I continue to find strength from your endless spirit everyday! Everywhere we go people are inspired by your incredible determination and appreciation for life. You are truly an angel placed here to make a difference. You give people looking for reasons why, a reason to always believe.
-We make a Living by what we get, we make a Life with what we give.
-God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
-If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

I find reasons to love my life everyday, in large part thanks to you!

I love you! God Bless.....

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 24, 2004

Update from John's parents June & Keith

Hard to believe it has almost been a month since we got John home. We also now have Devin here for the summer and John is so happy to have him around, and so are we, he will stimulate John far more than any of us.


The one thing about a small town is everything is within walking distance and Julesburg has opened their arms to us and anything we can do to help John. Jason goes to High school (1 block away) to work out everyday and takes John over to wheel around the halls. Our oldest son Josh works there and John tells him his floors are uneven cause he keeps going to the left with his wheelchair. The left arm is still stronger.


We have a golf course outside of town so last night Jason took him out there a left him drive a golf cart. It was the first time he has driven anything since the accident. John was pretty proud of himself.


He is doing so well in therapy and the "I can't" is getting less and less.
We make him write everyday and the first sentence is "I am going to get well".
The funniest is that John could not get it in his head that he graduated from College and would keep asking did I graduate or am I still in High School. Well I finally found his certificate and he has quit asking, and he finally believes us.


The strides are small but as long as we keep going forward that is all I want.

I still see an Alaskan cruise without my kids in my future?????

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 6, 2004

From John's parents June & Keith

Hard to believe it has almost been a month since we got John home. We also now have Devin here for the summer and John is so happy to have him around, and so are we, he will stimulate John far more than any of us.
The one thing about a small town is everything is within walking distance and Julesburg has opened their arms to us and anything we can do to help John. Jason goes to High school (1 block away) to work out everyday and takes John over to wheel around the halls. Our oldest son Josh works there and John tells him his floors are uneven cause he keeps going to the left with his wheelchair. The left arm is still stronger.


We have a golf course outside of town so last night Jason took him out there a left him drive a golf cart. It was the first time he has driven anything since the accident. John was pretty proud of himeself.


He is doing so well in therapy and the "I can't" is getting less and less.
We make him write everyday and the first sentence is "I am going to get well".
The funniest is that John could not get it in his head that he graduated from College and would keep asking did I graduate or am I still in High School. Well I finally found his certificate and he has quit asking, and he finally believes us.
The strides are small but as long as we keep going forward that is all I want. I still see a Alaskan cruise without my kids in my future?????

 

 

June 6, 2004

From John's parents June & Keith

Hi everyone and thank you all again for all your support for John and us. John is at home and is doing very well. Jason our youngest son moved out to Julesburg to help. Thank God we have a good sized home as the shoes at the door are bigger, appetites are bigger etc. Certainly is a total change from what we were used to but what a great change it has been. John continues to improve mentally and physically everyday. Jason rehabs him religiously everyday twice a day. I also have a reflexologist coming in who has given us simple things to do to improve John mentally and physically. Jason has him standing against the wall for 10 minutes with no hands on.


The part that I enjoy is that Jason has been John's shadow as it is with younger siblings and John says no he's not going to do something so Jason just stands there and tells him if he doesn't do it he will have to start over. Then we hear the laugh and for those who know John he has a very distinctive laugh and he says OK I'll do it and does it cause Jason will start over and he knows it. John is using the excuse of "I'm handicapped" less and less cause we won't accept it.


Speaking as a parent it has been an experience watching your children handle crisis like they have never seen before. It has truly been a pleasure watching them develop into stronger people.


I have tried to write thank you notes to everyone, but if I have missed some it is not intentional. Again thank you all for your support.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 24, 2004

From John's brother-in-law Kevin Davis:

John,


I cannot believe that we are only 2 days away from your release from Craig. These last 7 months have aged us all, to say the least, however, I keep thinking in the back of my mind that IT HAS ONLY BEEN 7 MONTHS, and what a remarkable recovery you have made in that short amount of time. You, again, have showed your toughness, your courage, your grit, and your zest for life throughout the entire process, all very admirable qualities. I commented to Jolene this last weekend that October 19th was, by far, the worst day of my life. The days following were full of uncertainty, unknown and never-felt-before emotions. But we were all able to find a calming, positive vibe when we would enter your hospital room, the same vibe we feel when we are around you now and the same vibe we felt being around you prior to October 19th. I was raised with the philosophy that "God works in mysterious ways," and that "Everything happens for a reason." I have been searching and searching for a reason why this happened to you. The only thing that I could come up with is that very few people would have had the ability to overcome this obstacle. You were chosen to make US all realize just how prescious life really is, how we need to cherish every moment with our loved ones, how we must smile and laugh and enjoy each and every moment, and how we need to tackle obstacles in our paths with reckless abandon. I admire you for what you stand for, what you are about, what you have overcome, and for what you will be in the future. I am still trying to study and aquire the "John Hessler Philosophy of Life," and I know, with time, it will just kind of rub off on me. Like I told you yesterday, "it is all down-hill from here brother!"
I would also like to thank everyone out there who had a part in John's recovery. It would be physically impossible to mention each and every person, so I will just generalize. First, to all of the emergency personnel on scene, especially Rich, Denver Health and PSL, the staff and patients of Craig Hospital, and the surgical team at Saint Joseph's. To all of the Hessler family friends and loved ones (this covers a WHOLE lot of people.) You are all amazing. Thank you for being there in so many ways when things were needed. Thank you to the local media for understanding. Thank you to Jenn for helping us deal with things we never thought we would have to deal with. A big thank you to Vikan, Regis, CU, and the entire community of Brighton.


I know John says "thank you" over a hundred times a day now, but I would like to thank the Hessler and Montoya family's on his behalf for getting John to where he is today. Sanja, you and your family have been completing amazing from day one. It is truly an honor to have you in our lives. June, Keith, Josh, Tina, Shane, Devin, Jason, thanks for doing whatever it took to get John better, and more importantly, thanks in advance for doing whatever it will take to get John to that next level. And to Jolene, thank you so much for just being you. Thank you for doing whatever it took in John's healing process, but still being able to handle me and take care of our family. You are truly an amazing person.


The next step in John's journey being now. Thank you ALL for being a part of it!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 18, 2004

From John's son Devin:

DADDY,

I MISS YOU. ARE YOU WOKING HARD? GET READY SO WE COULD GO FISHING THIS SUMMER. DO NOT WORRY I AM WORKING HARD IN SCHOOL. I GOT THE HIGHEST SCORE ON MY SPELLING TEST IN THE WHOLE CLASS-"NOBODY ELSE" ! I LOVE YOU.
LOVE, DEVIN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 7, 2004

Update from Sanja

I Would like to take this moment and thank the wonderful town of Brighton! This past week has been amazing. To start with, thank you to the wonderful staff and students and parents at Vikan middle school! The spaghetti dinner was awesome. For John,you made May 2nd a day filled unforgettable memories from the past and created new memories for the future, . I enjoyed watching his face light up seeing all of you.


Second, thank you to the wonderful staff and students at South Elementary. You read-athon was so special. It is so kind of you to take time out of your busy lives and put on such a wonderful event. I have never witnessed such well-mannered and behaved students! Very impressive!

 


Finally, thank you to all the sponsors who helped contribute to this unforgettable week. A special BIG THANK YOU to all of John's supporters. We could not be getting through this without you. Please keep up the positive thoughts and prayers, they are helping us witness miracles every day!

 

John continues to make improvements daily. He is being released from rehab at the end of May. Let the count down begin!
Now that he is at the end of rehab, his daily schedule has become more intense and strenuous, but John is dealing with it like a champ!

John has two more surgeries planned. In about three months John will be having surgery on his right eye. During the accident John's retina became filled with fluid and blood from the trauma to his head. The surgery will clear that out so he is able to see better.
John's second surgery is more serious and will not be done until October. During his coma, John developed H.O. (sorry I do not know what the medical term is.) Bone formed in John's hip joint, and is not allowing him to adduct or abduct his left leg. Therefore, John has to have it surgically removed in October. After that he will be able to walk again!
In the meantime, John will continue to undergo daily, strenuous outpatient therapy.
He has come far on his road to recovery, but he still has a tough road to continue on. So please keep up your positive thoughts and encouragement, they help tremendously.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 3, 2004

I sit and write with such an uplifted and inspired heart, thanks to
everyone who made yesterday an experience never to be forgotten.  To all
the students at Vikan Middle School thank you for showing such admiration
and love towards my brother.   Someone I have found joy in learning from
and I hope you all find yourselves learning the positives of life from.
Never stop believing in yourselves, the future is yours to decide and by
the way you all handled yourselves yesterday, I am proud of each and every
one of you, with all my sincere love, thank you!

When we said our final "I'll see you later" to the staff at Vikan, the
exhaustion was obvious but the admiration was even more evident.  You all
worked so hard to insure John......Brighton is home!  So many memories have
been made in that school but the one made yesterday will be the closest to
his heart.  You guys went above and beyond anything we imagined that day to
be.  We are so proud to have been part of such an exhilarating day with a
heavenly staff leading the way, thanks to all!

The community of Brighton is one that steps up to any call and opportunity
to show their support.   We are still trying to get over how many people
came to encourage John "NEVER GIVE UP".  John was so tired, but don't get
me wrong, he could of lasted another three hours!  It was so gratifying to
witness faces of inspiration apparent on everyone who came across John.
The world we live in has an abundance of bad things that happen so to be
part of a bad thing transformed to good restores faith and gives us all a
reason to believe, GOD does bless us in mysterious ways.
Make it a good day!

Jolene

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 29, 2004

Jenn Baker

Together  
Everyone
Achieves 
More       

Team Hessler supporters, that phrase could not be more true. From the bottom on my heart, on behalf of John and his entire family, THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU! We are two days away from John's fundraiser and we are sold out - all because individuals like you stepped in to show your support of John!

I would also like to thank all of you that continue to support John with letters of encouragement, items for the silent auction and other monetary contributions.


The road to recovery is definitely a journey and John is so lucky to have people like you to join him along the way!

Thank you again for everything, please keep writing to John in the guestbook and watching the website for details of other upcoming events for John.

With love and gratitude to each and every one of you-

Jenn Baker
Family Spokesperson and April 1 Event Chair

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 20, 2004

Jason Hessler  
08:32:47 AM 
 
John it's hard to believe it has been 6 months yesterday (Oct. 19). It's been a roller coaster ride that has a light at the end of the tunnel. Everynight I leave gets harder because I know you want to come home with me. Right know the schedule is for John to be released at the end of May with continous rehab to be done at home. He is in a position that mentally he gets better everyday. Physically he gets stronger but until the HO in his hip fully matures and is removed surgically he can't walk "normal." This procedure is a wait and see how the HO develops but will allow him to walk again. We are told it usually takes about one year to mature. The family thanks everybody for their continous support. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a special message from John himself -

March 27, 2004

 

Hello everybody,

I am feeling good. I am scarfing down a burrito and spice cake right now. Oh and I'm on my forth Dr.Pepper. I push myself in therpay everyday to walk, I really miss walking. Thank you for all the e-mails people. To the Vikan students thanks for all the nice words. You all are so great, the end!

To my Sanja, you are the greatest. I love you more than you know. Thank you for the wonderful year together 'Lovebug'!  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 9, 2004

Update from Jolene:

We were picked up at 1pm on Sunday (3-7-2004) by the hospitality van and started the
10 minute drive to take John HOME for the first time in almost five months.
John was granted a day pass that allowed all of us time to spend with John
in a setting we hope will be in our near future.  At this time the end of
April has been announced as a possible discharge date.  To some of you a
month and a half seems long but after six months of visiting a loved one at
a hospital this next month and a half will be very anticipated and exciting
for all especially John.  After he is discharged, John will have to
continue the rigorous therapy treatments several times a week.

The minute we walked into the living room, John blurts out, "There's my
chair".  A few minutes later John and Sanja were nice and snugly on "his
chair" as if they never left it.  It was so nice to look at a backyard and
see John's reflection off the window.  To watch John suck up the air
outside, smell the delicious pork loin bar-b-queing, laughing at the kids
playing soccer and for the first time in a very long time feeling normal,
it was such a rewarding experience for all involved.  His body still lacks
endurance but there was no way he was leaving before the scheduled pick up,
which was 6pm.  I have not seen us all smile as much as we did that day, it
felt so good, a new beginning.

So many people have helped make this horrible accident, a life altering
event we will never forget.  My mom loves reading through the letters you
have all sent.  She gets such a thrill receiving heart warming letters from
the elderly that most likely don't have $10.00 to just spend on anything
but have fallen in love with this amazing 'kid' who has defied all odds and
has become someone deserving of their worth.  Thanks to you all for the
amazing support!

One Team...One Hope...

Jolene

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 1, 2004

Update from Jolene:

It feels so good knowing John is back on the road to recovery and the word "home" instead of "hospital" can start being used. As mentioned before John's surgery went better than the neurosurgeons imagined. He looks great and most importantly is "whole again". He returned to rehab today and we told the therapists now is when John performs best, underpressure with everyone but him stressed. At least seven times a day John hears: "Devin (John's son)will be here soon and he wants to see more than anybody how hard his daddy works daily, so push the limits".

I don't want to confuse anyone, John is still not walking. He has been standing for up to 15 minutes with help from therapists and a machine. In the pool he does take steps with help. Our hopes are with the cranioplasty done his balance and thought process will increase drastically. So far, so good. John will need at least a couple more months of intense therapies before he will be able to come to a home setting and function.

Please everyone take time and read about the fundraisers being planned. The One Team...One Hope...One Night for John Hessler on April 1st will be the start to many great opportunities to show your support. John is truly loved and it warms my heart with all the outpouring you have given. The family as well as John thank you...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 23, 2004

Update from Jason after John's Surgery:

Well John, we just got home from a long day, I can't imagine the day you had. Before I left, when I saw you, you were still pretty drugged up but looked great. Everything went as planned and from here on out the ball is in your court!

 

A special story about John:  Last night when we were getting John settled into the hospital where the surgery was taking place, we had some special guests come up and say a prayer with John and the family. The guests were Father Sydney and Coach Ryan from Regis High School. We prayed for the surgery to go well and the path to recovery a little quicker. After the prayer John looked up at Father Sydney with a smile and said, "Amen brother!" John will always have his sense of humor!

 

Update from Jenn Baker:

 

JOHN HESSLER IS SUCH A FIGHTER!!! Great news everyone - John's surgery went so well that even the doctor said, "nothing could have gone better"! John was in good spirits this morning and surrounded by so many people that loved him - while we know the rest of you were keeping him in your prayers...and it all went smooth and our Johnny is now "whole" again!

The entire family asked that I thank everyone for your continued love and support, as we have all said so many times, "One Team - One Hope" and they couldn't have gone through this without you! John's sense of humor is really shining through these days, yet his humbleness still cannot fathom how many people have reached out in support. Jolene reads him excerpts from your letters and emails and he is always smiling!

So now we can all cross "more surgery" off John's list and continue to focus on the road ahead! Please stay tuned to the website and the hotline for more information to come on John's continued progress and details about fundraisers and other Team Hessler activities!

Much love and gratitude to you all and remember to take a minute to tell everyone in your life how much they truly mean to you each and every day!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Message From June and Keith Hessler before John's surgery:

 

February 22, 2004

 

To John:
Well Big Boy we have gone through a lot in our lifetime together, both good and bad. But somehow the good is over riding the bad now.


The much anticipated day is soon here. You called last night and wanted us to come and take you home, but we can't just yet. You have a few more tests to pass and you will pass them, I have no doubt about it.


You have to be strong yet and you have to draw your energy from us and others. God has taken you this far and He will not let you down now.


To John's extend family we need all the positive energy we can get on Monday, both for us and John.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

February 18, 2004

Hello everyone,

This week is filled with lots of anticipation.....As a family we are asking
for lots of prayers and positive thoughts for John. For he will be going in
sometime by Monday for the cranioplasty.  After the accident, John's brain
suffered a very traumatic injury resulting in the neurosurgeons to have to
remove part of John's skull so the brain could heal.  Well the brain has
healed and now it is time to make John "whole again".  Like any surgery
this one is scary for all involved.  We have reserved a hotel room across
the street from the hospital and will have someone next to John around the
clock.  But please take five minutes out of your day and ask "The Big Man
Upstairs" to bless us with a successful surgery and recovery.   We will
keep you all informed of John's status as it becomes available.  John is
not walking or standing on his own yet.  Hours of therapy is required daily
and will be needed for a many months to come, which leads me to........

There are several fund-raising events that will be taking place and the
need has never been greater.  John's insurance has been wonderful through
this entire ordeal, but his rehab days will be running out the middle of
March.  Unfortunately, John is not ready to come home yet.  So these events
are being planned to help pay for John to stay in rehab and have a much
higher chance to recover FULLY!  The outpouring of love for John has been
AMAZING!  Vikan Midddle School along with George and Laurie Poston of
Maggiano's, Regis Jesuit High School and Coach Jim Ryan, University of
Colorado and Dave Plati, Invesco Field and Patty Moser, one of my best
friends and the spokeswoman of the year Jenn Baker, John's future
father-in-law, Bruce Montoya.......thank you all for your continuous and
endless effort, we are all
ONE TEAM....WITH ONE HOPE....JOHN HESSLER.

Event dates will be following very soon, please just stay updated through
this website and hotline 1(888)674-3482.  Thank you all for the support and
love you show daily.

Love and Bless You All...........The Hessler Family

 

February 2nd 2004

Hello family, friends and supporters of John....

Some days it feels like the accident happened over three months ago and others like it was yesterday. John has been doing well. He has started swimming which he loves because unlike a normal pool where it takes a few minutes to get used to, this one is heated like a hot tub, nice from the get-go. In the pool he has stood on his own for a short time and has taken a few steps. It is an amazing sight to see considering we haven't seen that in so long, I almost forget how tall he is. The pool gives him the ability to stand with less pain in his hip and more bouancy. John's spirits remain good and at times contagious with his humor, but there are those moments where he gets tired and needs to be left alone to rest. John has moved to a team setting at rehab, which ables him to become more independent. His daily routine consists of begging the nursing staff to push the snooze button for five more minutes, brushing his teeth and trying to stuff his face with eggs and bacon before therapy occupies his day. His therpists are encouraged, the challenge lies with John. His brain is still very much in the healing process and his body still sore from not being mobile. There are days John can tell you the date without looking at the calendar and others where it is the 4th of July with snow on the ground. We are in the 14th mile of the 26th mile marathon, we made it past the half way. John is excepted to go in for another surgery soon, as a family we ask for all the prayers and amazing support to continue. There are some fundraising events for John being planned at this time, we are currently at a financial crossroad regarding John's rehabilitation and we will keep you updated once dates become available. Thank you all again for being so amazing!

 

Jolene


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On the Road Again...

January 12, 2004 - From June & Keith Hessler

Our theme song is "On the Road Again", as we have traveled over 2000 miles since 1/1. My mother died in S. Dak. on 1/1 so was back there for a while. Talk about cold even our car rebelled by a plugged fuel filter, heater fan that won't come on and a "nice" deer who stayed standing on the edge of the road while we passed her.


John is really doing well despite some set back along the way. He had developed blood clots in both legs but with the use of blood thinners and a filter put in his body they remained in his legs.


The biggest set back is the abnormal growth of bone (which I never knew is a complication of brain injury) in his pelvic area is causing him lots of pain and is hindering his standing and walking. They are giving him meds to help the calcified bone. I would like to hear from some other brain injury patients who had this and what they did and how you are now.


I will confess that this stage has been the hardest of all on us, but the small improvements are better than none at all. Mark K. described it perfectly in his article as a purgatory, and it truly is at times.


But the good points of his emotions, sense of humor, smile coming back are great to see.


Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and please keep us in them yet as we still have obstacles to conquer.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2003 - From Sanja

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY! These past few days have been so wonderful watching you Devin, and Dominic goofing around again. I have not seen you this happy for a long time There will be many more great and happy times for all of us in 2004.
I love watching improvements in your strength and spirit everyday.

I love you!!
and I am so proud of you. I am excited to celebrate our accomplishments, and create new happy memories in 2004.

 

 

Reunited...

Sunday, 12/28/2003

 

Dear John, 

I just wanted to make sure you remembered this day 12/28/03.  It was the first time since this whole thing began that you got to squeeze that special little boy of yours and he got to see that his daddy is truly alive!  What a day.......

Sanja arrived with McDonald's for you this morning, you were just finishing up when I came.  We promised after you brushed your teeth and shaved we would let you lay down before the long anticipated reunion happened.  You became agitated and the best thing for all of us was a nap for "Oscar".  We call you that when you are in these moods, you usual laugh at us then agree.  We left for awhile and went to lunch when we came back we woke you up.  You ate a great lunch while I read you entries from JohnHessler.com.  The whole afternoon every conversation involved Devin.  We can admit it now John, Sanja and I had major butterflies before Devin walked in that doorway.  This week has been hard, not only because my big brother wasn't with us at home for Christmas but also because you have been so upset with what has happened to you and we are the ones that give our best efforts to reassure you everything will be fine.  Then.......

We got a call over the intercom, "Is there anyone in there with John?"  "Yep", I replied.  "His son is here at the nurses station".  I only heard "his son" and I was out of there.  I ran faster than Aunt JoJo has ever ran to hold that wonderful boy for a brief second before taking him to his daddy who has never looked so handsome and happy.  John, you beamed with excitement but more than  anything LOVE!  Love for your little buddy who is the reason you have fought back everyday and overcame this tragic accident, giving us all a reason to believe in miracles.  You did not want to let go of that first hug and your smile, oh your gorgeous smile, you both were radiant.   Everyone in the room had a pile of tears building in the eyes.  The butterflies Sanja and I had earlier were because we didn't know how you were going to be.  Whether it was going to bug you that Devin wasn't going to be able to see the daddy that could throw him really high and catch him, the daddy that could throw a ball farther than anyone else or the daddy who could chase him.  None of those things happened today instead Devin saw the daddy who will be able to toss him up once again, the daddy that practices everyday throwing balls and the daddy who pours his heart and soul into therapies to catch you soon enough, but most of all Devin saw a daddy who loves him.  He loves everything about his little buddy, the way Devin tries so hard to tie his shoes, loves his gameboy, is not a good wheelchair driver, has a dirty room, has friends that are a grade ahead of him making him cooler and does not want to be part of the 'boys club' because they say bad words.  I will forever remember this day, that smile left on your face and the last words before I shut your door, "Thank you for this day!"

 

Love,

 

Jolene - your little sister

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 12, 2003

Sorry we have not updated this for awhile but with what we have been through the past 2+ months, when good things happen we just kinda hold our breath.
John won "regional play" with a few set back, but none that could not be handled.

 

He is now in the "state" playoffs and the true test of grit will be on him. He still needs his infield and outfield though as not pitching really good yet.
He recognizes everyone and is starting to get his sense of humor back. He is eating real food and enjoys every last bite of it.

 

O.T and P.T. are working with him daily and will present the biggest challenge to him. He still has a peice of bone out of his head and needs to wear a helmet for head protection, and be careful he doesn't hit his head.

 

John has been taken to view his web site and said "WOW, all for me".

 

Thank you all again and please keep us in your prayers as that is what has gotten us this far.

June & Keith Hessler

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The below entry was written by Jolene Davis, John's younger sister.
It's a beautiful...

The man, the myth, the legend himself November 26th 2003 12:30:11 AM

John is so unpredictable but yet so easy to read. I am going to view life through his eyes months from now, here it goes:

First of all, to the fiancé/wife (my family was so overwhelmed when you stopped by the waiting room they weren't clear on which, I apologize) that knew her husband needed to stop at the scene to open my airway and give me life on Sunday evening around 4:35 on the 19th of October, 2003, thank you. I cannot wait until we can gather on that date yearly just so I can say thanks for being my first angel encounter.

Then to Kelci, you were there in the emergency room when I arrived as a John Doe and took that second glance at my badly injured body and said, "Oh my GOD, I know who that is". Then your instincts took over and you called my family to be there for me, thank you for being my angel.

To all the Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and Staff at Denver Health that were so determined to save me, YOU DID! Thank you for working so hard and so well together to accomplish this miraculous task.

To the amazing staff in the Trauma ICU you were all so determined to do whatever needed to be done daily for me. Whether that be breaking my temperature that had haunted me or just being there to listen to my family tell stories. You are all amazing! Mike (Everyone loves Mike/Raymond), Kate and good ole' Sue don't change one thing about yourselves! Also Reggie, I need to know why I owe you the box of chocolates? My family says you definitely deserve it, so I will leave that as reason enough. But you have to share with Megan, because I remember her being your partner in crime.

Then....there came the transfer to the new place and some guy named Jerry. I guess he was there to help my breathing and his favorite saying was, "time to rock and roll" and he succeeded. In no time, thanks to not only Jerry but all the staff I was without the annoying thing in my throat, thank goodness! The Doctors took care of any orders I needed and the nursing staff gave me excellent care. By the way thanks for setting up the extra bed for my family, I was getting homesick and it was nice sleeping next to my loved ones.

To my fellow VIKAN Knights, where do I start with thank you's here?? First to Doris, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work with not only the greatest teaching staff but the coolest students around. I cannot wait until I get the opportunity to walk into that place and have all 500 of you stomping, clapping and chanting HESSLER! Thank you for believing in me and yourself.

To the Regis community, I knew there was a reason I would drive 100+ miles daily to be with you guys. The mileage did not compare to the joy and excitement that coaching brought me. I never got sick of being with you, Sanja was sick of not seeing me during the season, but after meeting all of you she knew why I loved you all so much. The Regis players are top notch. Their beliefs and strengths are years above mine, even being years younger. One word of wisdom, ONE TEAM, ONE HOPE, we will always be!

To my Buffalo family, CU was a clear choice for me. My memories there go way beyond a computer screen. Mr. Plati, I noticed by your message in the guest book, you are still as funny as ever. Becky Cabral, I am requesting some of those cookies I haven't stopped hearing about. To the coaching staff, and players, thank you for standing up and believing in this soldier, your forever Buffalo.

To my mom, I love you and the amazing strength and encouragement you brought to the room daily. You have always kept us in line and I knew better not to make Junebug mad. So I fought mom, everyday I would give a little more and battle harder. Dad, you were in this battle once and I held your hand and told you everything was going to be okay just like you have done for me and it was. I feel truly blessed to call you my parents!

Josh I cannot wait to get out hunting and fishing. You are the only one that has a bigger competitive bone then me. Don't get all my pheasants and geese, I need bragging rights too!

Jason, Jason, Jason, big man I missed you! No one makes me laugh more than you. Have you found a girl yet? Come on ladies it would be nothing but an honored to date this guy because he is truly one of a kind! Hoops brother, get my shoes ready.

The game, AKA Stacy, are we every not going to be roommates? After 10 years why haven't we got sick of each other? The answer is easy because you are like my brother and I love you. Thank you for you dedication to me and my family. You always make a room that much more entertaining.

Big Red, thank you for being the man behind the man. I have never been one to be organized but you made it happen. You took care of things my family could not handle, gave them time to be with me, and always thought of them before yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jenny Baker, I thought PR would be a cool gig, but way to much work! We all thank the man upstairs for you. You, like Kevin eliminated a million pounds of stress for the family.

Sanja, I hated to say goodnight, I would often ask for five more minutes, but knew I also had to share you with Dominic because he is special to us both and needed you as well. The hospital bed was not nearly as comfy as your arms and touch at night. Lovebug, it is time to disguised everyone with all our PDA, public display of affection. And I am sorry you had to take the teasing without me, but baby I am back to help defend against my siblings!

Devin, my little buddy, I cannot tell you how much I missed you and love you. You are daddy's number one receiver! I was so glad to hear how well you are doing in school. I cannot wait to throw you up in the air and never let you go. I missed your giggle and your funny jokes. Kid, they don't get any cooler than you and any prouder than me! We will be sitting by the ponds very soon, pulling out the big ones son, I promise.

To the angel who appeared to help me through this journey. You made this miraculous story end with a happy ending for all. No one knows how you got there, but I do!

To all the prayers said on my behalf, they worked! Believe in the power of miracles......

P.S. Jojo, we will talk very soon in person. It is late and I am still healing.

Love to you all,
John Keith Hessler, Jr.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 22, 2003

4:40 AM

 

Well, what a great last couple of days this has been for me. It all started on Thursday 11/20/03 afternoon when I was at the hospital visiting John. I saw some of the things John was doing while his sister Jolene was there and I was just blown away. He would try to tell her that he loved her and he would try to answer question that she asked. His eyes were wide-open will Jolene talked to him and he would look at her. I just thought to myself, "yeah he is waking up, but he is not all there yet."

 

Then something happen that floored me. Jolene left and I was the only person left in the room with John. Before Jolene left she told me to read to John and he would fall asleep. Well I took her advice, and started to read to John. The book I chose to read was John's guest book. This book contains different letters for people that have been by to visit John. As I started to read the book, John would turn his head towards me and look at me. After every letter that I read I would ask John do you remember this person, and I would see him move is lips. Most of the letters I read to him were from former CU players. I just thought it would be easier for him to remember.

 

Well I keep reading and asking questions, and after every question I asked, John would say yes or no. Most of the time he would say yes. Then I would laugh about some of the crazy times we had with this guy and John would smile with me. I was just blown away.

 

At the time it didn't really hit me that I was have a conversation with John. Well, I called John's girlfriend (Sanja) and told her what was going and she was just so excited. Well people that know me, knows that I'm just a laid back guy and don't get excited very much. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why John's girlfriend was so excited. Little did I know the importants of that conversation with John. I was just very happy that John could move around and crack his eyes.

 

I told everyone about in the family about our little talk, and they told other people. A dear friend of mine wrote me an email and told me how great it was. So I sat down that night and that about what happened at the hospital, and then it hit me. I just had a conversation with my good friend, who was suppose to be in a coma. No one knew how long he would be in that a coma, and I had just talked to him. It was the first time I had talked to John since his car accident. Let me tell you, no one knows how much of an honor it was to have just that small talk with John.

 

I wrote earlier in the week about playing thumb wars with John. I wrote in that posting that, I would come back and raise the stakes in the next game. Well John raised the stakes, not only did I play a game with him, I also talked to him. I'm honored and amazed.

I didn't think I would see anything more from John as far as waking up for a while. I say that because the things I mention before are just so amazing that I thought he would have to slow down a little. Well Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, they did. Yesterday, Friday 11/21/03, Jason, John's little brother called me and said "get down here". I said "why what's going on?" Jason said "Johns talking." So I hurry to the hospital think yeah well maybe he can say yes or no. I did think there would be any possible way that he would have his eyes open and responding to everything.

 

Boy was I wrong. When I got in the room John was wide awake. He was doing things like telling people bye, and hello. He would tell you what was wrong with him, like my back itches. I was just blown away. Then will I was sitting by his bed, said something to someone in the room then it happened. John turned his head and looked me directly in the eyes and said "that's Stacy, what up bro?"

 

There's nothing that I can write to tell you how that felt. Then later he called my name while I was talking to someone else and I asked him what he needed. He told me to take his tubes out, I said "what" and he just said take them out. I wanted to so bad, but that would not be good for him. I mean John wasn't just say yes and no. He was saying things in that same of corny Hessler sense of humor. We asked him how do you feel his response was "like sh@t. Jason told John how much he weighed and John's responds was "Jess."

 

He is that same wonderful guy he was before all of this. This day was sweeter then any victory, money can't buy the feeling I felt today. Nothing can make me feel like today. I can say about that today is HE'S BACK!!! Back stronger then ever. John welcome back buddy.

I just want say to the family, you guys are doing a great job with is whole thing. June (mother), Keith (father), Josh and his family (brother), Jolene and her family (sister), Jason (brother), and Sanja (girlfriend). You guy are absolutely amazing. The things that you are going through, and you stay strong. I have nothing but respect for all of you. You guys are like my family and Sanja you might even be my family soon
I just want you to know that you are the best team I have ever seen. I've been around all of you guys a lot and I know that sometimes things seem tough. Sometimes you don't agree with each other. Well that happens on every team. Good teams fight through those things to get to the real battle. To good things the only thing that matter is reaching the goals. They make sacrifices and do things they don't want to do. No one person is bigger then the group. Well Team Hessler is all that and then some. I just hope that you guys will consider me a part of the team. Because the fight is just getting good and we need each other to win this one.

I just have to say this one more time HE'S BACK !!!

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November 21, 2003

9:45 pm

 

From Jason Hessler:

 

"MY FAT HEAD BROTHER"  John, you have no idea about the day I have had. 

 

I've been staring at the screen wondering how to write what I feel.  Today was the day we got to see the car and get the personal items out of it.  Kevin (my brother in law) and I went to the tow yard around ten this morning. Kevin kept asking me if I would be all right seeing the car and warned me about it. In his job he see's this everyday, but not one with a loved one inside.  When we got there we met the state trooper and all looked at each other, took a deep breath and went back to see it. If there was every any doubt that you were the toughest guy I know, it was all erased when I saw the car. It gave me a little easier feeling knowing where you were and where you are now.

 

While collecting items Kevin came across an angel pendent in the middle counsel. No one can explain how it got there, but it was right there staring at Kevin. After getting all these items, we proceeded to the hospital. As everyone knows he has been progressing everyday. I prepared myself to see the car but I was not prepared to see or hear what you did when I walked into your room.

 

We walked in and Jolene said, "John you got someone here to see you, do you know who this is?" John REPLIED, "MY FAT HEAD BROTHER." I was floored, those are the tears of joy I have needed. He can talk and recognizes all the family and Sanja. Today has been the best day of my life. After 33 days a new chapter has opened "THE ROAD TO RECOVERY."  We played Devin and your song, you sang some of the words to us. John, I love you and thank you for being the man you are.

 

Devin start packing your bags little buddy, cause you are coming to see your daddy very soon........"

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

November 21, 2003

5:41 AM

 

Everyday is a new adventure and all on the positive side. He can breath on his own now for up to 12 hours at a time. We cannot tell you how nice and quiet it is in the room not hearing the machine going swish-swish.
I said I wanted "heat straight down the middle" well I am not going to complete this sentence at this time. Let me just say keep it up John.
I am just not going to worry about tomorrow till it becomes today.
God does work in mysterious ways.........
Thank you all for caring and sharing.
Love to all
The Family

 

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November 19, 2003

 

Last night at the John's hospital room something happened to me that I thought I would never be happy that it happened. Last night I lost a game. Anyone that knows me, know that I hate to lose at anything I do. But this was different; I was so happy and so honored to lose this game. I know some of you are saying "what a loser, he is actually happy when he lose." I agree last night I was a loser, but in being a loser I was a bigger winner then I could have ever dreamed of.

 

The game I lost at last night was thumb wars. I know thumb wars what the big deal with that game? Well the big deal is who I played thumb wars with. Last night I play thumb wars with the one and only John Hessler. That's right John and I actually had wars of the thumbs. For the first time since the accident I interacted with the guy who I have been friends with since we started going to CU together. I've hear all these things from his family about what he can do, well last night I saw first hand what he can do. It had to be one of the best games of my life. Just a simple game of thumb war. But it was more then just a game. It was a sign of hope. It showed that John is a strong and tough person. It also showed what can happen when you believe in yourself. This shows that all of our prayers and thoughts for John are have a really positive effect on him.

 

John you don't know what that simple game of thumb wars did for me. It just makes my day to be in a game with you again no matter how big or how small. John I want you to know that there are still tons of people pulling for you and want give up on you, so don't you give up on yourself. John you better keep winning while the winning is good because you know that I'm going to come back hard and raise the stakes for the next game. But until then it was and honor to lose to you last night in our little game. I look forward to the next thumb wars.

 

Stacy Patterson

 

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November 18, 2003 / 7:48 pm

 

Hello Devin, family, friends and the amazing group of supporters!

My mom is usually the one to announce good news, but I asked for the honors this evening.

 

John has really done some pretty incredible things since Thursday. I walked into John's room that morning and knew from the first step I took inside that something inside my soul felt warm and encouraged. I did my usual "good morning and I love you John" and just as I was saying that while holding his hand he grapped my hand tighter than ever. I just thought he wanted some reassurance everything was going to be all right, but no, he was telling me "JoJo I am waking up"!

 

I did my usual morning routine, starting with brushing his teeth. As I was doing that, John being the clean man he is, opened his mouth wide, while sticking out his tonuge, as if saying "you missed a spot, go back". I had been waiting for this moment and have tried to prepare myself not to be "too" overreactive when it happened. So, I just got out of his view and did my own victory dance, right next to his bed, by the way, there was a reason my mom never registered me in any dance competitions!!! After regaining my composure I finished up the teeth....with his help. I held up his hand and he held the toothbrush and finished making those teeth sparkle like they never had before. After I love you John, I love you, I love you (please also add 1000 more I love yous' to that) then 1000 kisses, which by the way HE KISSES BACK!!!! My kisses aren't as special as Sanja's, but since Thursday I have received the most amazing blessing from the Lord, thank you Lord, we all thank you!

 

He has also opened his eyes, the left one more than the right, but we are all just so happy to see those baby blues, it doesn't matter. The eyes have not remained open consistently because John is still healing, but it will happen and we are THANKFUL!!!

 

As a family we thank all of you out there that go to your phone and computer daily to show your love and support for this amazing father, son, brother, uncle, Sanja's lovebug, teacher, coach and lifetime friend. You all have made us believe 100% in the power of prayers and positve thoughts. John still has a long road ahead of him but as a team we will conquer, I believe!

 

At this time no one but family and certain exceptions will be allowed in to go and see John. Not only because of the flu season being in full force but also because John cannot have a lot of simulation. Thank you all for understanding our wishes and we will continue to update the awakening as needed. Remember, it is one day at a time, some days being better than others,
but we are One Team...One Hope!

I love you John!!!!

 

JoJo (Jolene - John's sister)

 

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November 9, 2003 / 6:45 pm

 

O.K. everyone you had better be sitting down on this note cause it is finally encouraging. No he is not awake yet, but he is responding to commands. He lifts his thumb on command..... He squeezes your hand and then will let loose on command. Huge step for traumatic brain injury and much needed encouragement for the family.


We just can't say enough about this website and how you all have kept us going. Thank you all just doesn't seem enough but that is all we can do at this time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Love to all
John's family

 

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November 7, 2003

 

Dear John,


Mickie M. came up to visit and told us the story (which he also posted) of you not giving up the ball. Well we got you a baseball and you hung onto it daily.


You won Districts, but your pitching had a little to be desired. Way too many change up and curves. Thank God you had an awesome infield and outfield to save your butt many times.


You are now in Regionals. The batters are going to be tougher to strike out. There is no "Hessler Rules" in this one, some one else is ruling you. The batters are going to really push you to your limit. Just please try to throw heat straight down the middle. We can handle a few change ups and curves, but not so many this time. Just remember you still have your awesome infield and outfield and I think even the Umipire likes you.
We Love You


Your Family

 

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November 3, 2003

 

Dear Devin,
 

Hey big buddy, tomorrow you will turn 6 years old and I hope I can give you a really great birthday present.

 

Your Dad is so close to waking up. His brain swelling is greatly improved. He is breathing on his own for a while but still needs the vent. to assist, but that's OK, because his lungs were pretty damaged and he still needs the good oxygen to breath.

 

Aunt JoJo, Sanja, Grandpa and I kept telling him all day today that you want him to wake up and see the rabbits and pheasants and geese flying. And that Uncle Josh and Shane need him to go fishing with them.

 

So Big Buddy you say a very special pray tonight for your Daddy to wake up on your special day.

 

Love ya
Grandma and Grandpa

 

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October 31, 2003

This web site just keeps growing. Do you guys realize what strength you are giving to us through this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so anxious for John to wake up and read this-how's that for positive thinking?????

John is taking "baby" steps in so many things that are positive. He does grasp our hands, moves his feet and I truly believe he hears us.

He is still in a coma but that's OK the brain needs the rest to heal. He has opened his eyes for just a moment a couple of times.

He still needs the vent. to breath as he gets so tired to breath on his own yet.
I did corner his Doctor yesterday and the word Rehab came out of his mouth. Medically he is getting stable, now it is the waking up process and I am sure retraining process.
The saying of you never get to a mountain top without a valley to go through has certainly been our last 11 days. I am so looking forward to be able to stay on the mountain. I know there will be dips in the road yet, but please God no more valleys.

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October 26, 2003

Words cannot express our thanks for all the love and especially the prayers that all of you are giving to us and John's recovery. Keith and I are at home tonight and it is the first time I have read the web site. It is so awesome. Everyone has been telling us about the replies from around the world, but until you see it you can't believe it.


Let me update some as a nurse but most as a Mother who believes in the power of prayer.

 

The feeling and the presence of something in John's room is totally without understanding. It is a feeling of peace that I can not describe to anyone, but it is there. As with anything in life we don't know about tomorrow, but we made today and do see good signs everyday.


I want to share one story with you all that gave and still does give me goose bumps every time I tell it.


We had a young man from Safeway come up to the room the other day carrying these trays of food. I asked who they were from and he said "me". I said I know Safeway but what name sent them? He said "me" I said why you. He proceeded to tell us that he was behind John and he stopped and went to John's car and John wasn't breathing. So he went and opened the passenger door and got in and lifted John's head and he started to breath again right away. He stayed with John holding his head till the amb. got there. I still cry when I tell this story because this guy is truly a hero in our eyes. Thank you again for saving our son.....


As a nurse it is so awful up there because I know what they are talking about, but they have too. That is their job and I will accept it as their job, but the presence that is beyond understanding is way tooooo strong.


For you kids who know and love John so much I want to say that John would want you to do your very best in school and in anything else you do, not for him but for yourselves. You too will be adults someday and what you do now will form your adulthood. It is OK to feel sad for what happened to him but he would be so proud if someday you would come up to him and say I am the person I am today because of you.


It is sad but sometimes sadness it part of living.

 

Thank you all for listening to me, for your prayers and your outpouring of love.

 

 

 

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