A new year, and new hope for one family…

I received a very difficult phone call three months ago. I’ll never forget it.

Now, before I tell you how this story ends, I invite you to read the following letter I received just a week ago…

Dear Chris:

Back in September of this year you received a call from a mutual friend, Dave Henderson. I think Dave explained that our 16 year old son, Christian Bauerle, sustained a serious injury in a football game and was in intensive care up at Stanford.

Christian sustained an injury to his brain stem artery which caused a blood clot and stroke. The doctors at Stanford performed emergency surgery on him to clear the clot.

We were told that if he survives they did not know to what extent he would regain his functions. At the time I spoke with Dave the doctors at Stanford thought that Christian’s best chance at recovery would be immediate aggressive physical therapy. I spoke with Dave on Wednesday night September 10th and by Thursday afternoon a VMC representative met with Christian and us. By Friday September 12th around noon Christian was admitted into VMC.

Christian was at VMC for eight weeks. When he arrived all he could do was move his eyes and his left leg some. By the end of the eight weeks he was lifting weights, walking, climbing stairs, eating and talking. My wife Karen and I, along with Christian and his brothers and sister, are very grateful for everything you did to get Christian into VMC. We also want to give our thanks to Dr. Duong, Dr. Lin, Amy, Hubert, Kei, Carlo and the rest of the staff in the head injury section of the hospital.

Enclosed is a check in the amount of $1,000 for the VMC Foundation to be used for whatever the hospital committee deems necessary to continue VMC’s fine health programs.

Christian continues to recover now at home, is attending school, and plans to make the high school basketball team next year. We thank you and the VMC staff again for all that you have done for Christian and our family.

Sincerely,

Randy Bauerle

So there’s the letter. Now you see why I’ll never forget it. Though he has a long road ahead, VMC’s Rehab Team (with the support of a great family and determined young man) have once again defied the odds.

I promised to tell you how the story ends. Well, in fact, it hasn’t yet. You see, I spoke to Randy (Christian’s Dad) at length yesterday and they want very much to be involved. If you come to VMC Foundation’s events this year, chances are you’ll meet them. If you visit VMC’s Rehab Center this year, Christian may be there providing peer support or volunteering.

And if you attend the right High School basketball game this fall, watch for him. He’ll be the guy with the most positve attitude on the court…and probably the most points on the board.