Editor’s note – this message was posted on Facebook today. It was one year ago today that John Michael’s life, and the lives of his loved ones, took an unexpected turn. If you don’t already follow his story on Caring Bridge https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/johnmichaelnight I encourage you to do so. Learn about John Michael, find ways to help the family, and read updates from his mother, Vickie, that will make you cry and inspire you at the same time.
It feels like I blinked and a year went by, yet so much has happened. I remember it like it was yesterday: I got to Shepherd on Tuesday, January 5. That first Sunday I was laying in bed and my mom was holding my hand as we watched Joel Osteen preach on TV. He was talking about how 2016 would be a year of acceleration, and in many ways it was. I’m extremely thankful for the progress I have made. I thank God everyday first and foremost that I’m here, that nothing’s wrong with my brain, that I was always able to breathe on my own, that the feeding tube is out, and for the opportunity to inspire and motivate and draw people closer to Him. I would not be where I am today without the continuous support of my mom, my dad, Ryan, Ben, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends, Trinity Prep, my teammates and coaches at Mercer, the wonderful people of the Shepherd center, everyone in Atlanta who stayed with me and/or helped my family out and made them feel at home during those 5 and 1/2 months, CORE, my amazing therapists that come to the house, my nurses, the Faceoff Academy, Team Florida, Ponte Vedra and their undefeated season, the World Lacrosse Foundation, the lacrosse community as a whole, Camp Ridgecrest, the city of Winter Park, people I don’t even know (stroke buddy, Jan Cantley, etc.), and so many more. Thank you all so much for everything you have done. Not enough can be said about my friends and the tremendous outpouring of love and support throughout this journey. From coming to visit me in Atlanta to throwing up “24” in pictures and everything you could possibly think of in between. I’m extremely grateful and blessed for such wonderful, incredible friends. Looking forward please continue to pray for patience for me and my family, continued recovery for me and everyone else who has had a stroke, that I will once again play the sport I love, and for another year of moving forward with no setbacks.
“…Jesus replied: You don’t understand what I’m doing now but someday you will.”