Sunday, October 12, 2008

4 Months Post Surgery and a Texas Tech Weekend !!

On June 11th, 2008, at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Jessie had radical brain surgery to remove the right half of her brain (hemispherectomy). Dr. Ben Carson's head resident, Dr. Hsu came down to Pre-Op and asked Jessie if he could use a Sharpee pen to write on her head (to mark the side of the brain to remove). Jessie was a good sport and said "OK, but can I write on your head?". So, he gave her the pen, and she wrote "Texas Tech" across this "Michigan Man's" forehead. An hour later Jessie went into surgery with the whole world praying for her, Dr. Carson and the entire staff at Hopkins.
Now, fast forward exactly 4 months. (October 11th, 2008). Today, Jessie walked into Jones ATT Stadium in Lubbock, Texas for her 7th Homecoming game. Not bad for a kid who is only six, and not bad for a kid who, only 4 months prior, had the most radical brain surgery in existence. Jessie, we are so proud of your hard work and AMAZING recovery!!
Fight, Little Raider, Fight!
Gun Up with Raider Red at Raider Alley before the game!

Before the game, we got to go down the ramp and onto the field for pre-game. This is right off the Tech locker room where the Masked Rider's bronzed saddle is. The team touches the saddle horn as they prepare to run down the tunnel to start the game. We are all touching the saddle horn, and didn't realize who was right behind us. Check out who was sitting directly behind us in the locker room!! Heisman Trophy candidate, and number one quarterback in the nation, Graham Harrell !!!

This is the kids down on the field as the players warm up. Notice how well Jessie is squatting. This is something that she couldn't do a few weeks ago. We all thought that this was pretty cool to be down on the field with the players. Thanks to the Tech Athletic department for making this a special day.

Family Guns-Up ! They are all wearing their Michael Crabtree Jerseys, who by-the-way is the number one receiver in the nation and also a Heisman Trophy candidate. Kristi is wearing the Graham Harrell jersey that he signed for her birthday last year.

The athletic department posted The Hemispherectomy Foundation up on the scoreboard during pregame!! Thanks TTU for the plug!

This is the family with Craig Wells, Senior Associate Athletic Director-Chief of Staff at Tech. He took us down on the field and gave the kids a bag of Texas Tech gear and made us all feel very welcome. Thanks Craig for taking the time out of your busy pre-game to do this! We'll never forget it.

Here is #6, Graham Harrell and the rest of the team running out on the field for pre-game warm-ups.

Our view from down on the field looking up at the press box.

Josh and Jake giving each other a Texas Tech Twin Hug before the game.

Brad and Jada Morrow and their kids Brody and Shelby, from Aledo, came with us to the game. For those of you who know Brad, he always has a camera in his hand, so this is an appropriate picture of Brad. We had a blast together rooting on our Red Raiders !

Her is Brad, Shelby, Jada, Kristi, and Jessie. OK, she is only 6 years-old, and a whole football game is a loooong time in a kids reality! Smile Jessie !

Go ! Fight ! Win !!!!!!!

Emerging from the Tunnel; Our Texas Tech Red Raiders !

Brody with his Texas Tech - Double "T" eye-black.

The whole crew!

For those of you who didn't know, I was in the marching band at Texas Tech for 4 years, so this is one of my favorite parts of the game. Half Time!! Tech, by the way, has the 2nd largest marching band in the nation and have won countless awards, including the coveted Sudler Trophy given for consistent excellence in collegiate marching bands.

Here is Ruffin McNeal, The Texas Tech Defensive Coordinator after the game.

This is Steve Maines, who works for the Tech Atletic Department. Steve's family began following Jessie back during her surgery and recovery. Steve is also part of the Maines Brothers Band. His brother Kenny was playing at Raider Alley before the game. Thanks Steve!

OK, here is Graham Harrell signing Jessie's jersey (which happens to be a Crabtree Jersey) Oh Well, He signed all of the kids shirts, including Dad's. The really classy thing that he did, was he stuck around and gave autographs to every kid who wanted one...including the BIG Kids. Most of the players signed a few and then left. He stuck around until everyone was taken care of. I know that he was exhausted after the game and ready to go relax, but he took care of his fans first. Way to go Graham, you are our hero !!

Jessie was very proud of her Graham Harrell autograph! I'm sure that she's going to tell everyone about it at school !

It was a good day, but a long day. One Happy Little Red Raider ready for bed to dream about a Texas Tech National Championship, Cotton Candy, and no seizures!

I had to repost this picture from a couple of months back. Harrell and Crabtree did this for Jessie and this is one of those pictures that we will cherish forever! Thanks again guys! I don't know which one of you is going to win the Heisman Trophy, but either way, we can't go wrong.

By the way, the USA Today Poll has our Red Raiders as #5 in the Nation after their overtime win against Nebraska.

Keep up the good work boys! Keep up the good work Jessie !!

Praise God for allowing this beautiful weekend!


Texas Tech


Anonymous said...

I have not written lately but I still check on Jessie often! I am SO happy she is doing so well...her hair is starting to grow out!! What a precious angel! Keep up the good work Jessie!!!
Ft. Worth

LeeAnn said...

What a fun weekend for the whole family! God has blessed your family through this journey and I'm very glad you were able to have a terrific weekend on this side of the journey. Praise be to God!
LeeAnn Horn
Richardson, TX

Chris R. said...

Hey guys! Great photos... I am jealous as it looks like you had a terrific weekend in Lubbock. Gotta Love Tech being number 5...did you ever think we would have two players up for the Heisman and a team in true contention for the national championship? BTW, I don't know if you know this but Steve Maines is Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks Uncle. Her Dad is Lloyd Maines. We love you guys... glad to see Jessie doing so well. Go Tech!


Brad Morrow said...

We enjoyed so much, being part of your trip to Lubbock. We had a great time and hope it can become an annual thing for our families.


Anonymous said...

It think of this past weekend and remember when we planned to all go thinking....I wonder how that is all going to work...will Jessie be walking by then:)??? Well, no doubt!!!! Eating cotton candy and shakin hands with her sticky hands to make people laugh!!! what a delight to be a part of y'all's tradition. Like Brad said, we would love to make that an annual thing!! Thanks for letting us join you guys!! We had a blast!! GO RAIDERS!!

Anonymous said...

Wow the memories!!! I remember sitting there for all those four years (or more)watching Red Raider football and the Goin' Band march onto the field, the show at halftime, and following them through the engineering key, memorial circle and to the music building... then 14th Street afterwards... Good times with you, Kristi, Chris R., Greg L. and all the gang.

Love to you all, Eddie