It was August 28th,1993
Deuce had already made some friends after moving into the Kansas Wesleyan men's dorm in Salina, Kansas the week before classes began. It was his first week of college and the world was full of possibilities...
It's surreal to grasp that three decades have slipped by since that fateful night – a night that remains vivid in memory, forever etched in the fabric of our family's journey. The echoes of a phone call from my parents, their voices laden with urgency, carried news that would forever reshape our lives.
I was in Kansas City then, accompanying my boyfriend Kyle as he pursued his medical studies. Little did I know that a phone call would come, thrusting me back into the realm of the emergency room in Salina, Kansas – a space I had known so well over four years, working as an ER tech while navigating the path through college.
Deuce, my brother, had embarked on a new chapter, having chosen to join me at Kansas Wesleyan for his studies. We had spent a carefree weekend, navigating the excitement of new friendships and the thrill of freedom. He, along with his dorm mates, had set out on a simple escapade, the intention being to rent a movie at Blockbuster – a seemingly mundane task that would cascade into a life-altering event.
The scene was mere blocks away from campus, as Deuce and his friends conversed with local girls. Abruptly, their encounter took an alarming turn. A group of local kids, including Isaac Wilson, approached them. In an instant, a single punch was thrown, forever changing the trajectory of Deuce's life. The violence of that act shattered his jaw, the damage hidden behind a facade of initial normalcy.
It was the presence of observant paramedics stationed nearby that ensured his survival. Their familiarity with Deuce led them to see beyond the surface, recognizing that he needed immediate attention. In the bustling emergency room, where I had once worked, the severity of his condition was not initially apparent. What seemed like a simple punch had set off a chain reaction within his brain.
In the midst of a CT scan, our world tilted once more. Seizures gripped him, his body betraying the silent battle raging within. Urgency prevailed as he was rushed into surgery, a procedure that would prove to be his lifeline. Dr. Mangulu, a guardian of life, operated swiftly, averting a catastrophe. The internal bleeding had left its mark on his brainstem, a reminder of the fragility of life's balance.
Thirty years on, as I reflect on that night, I'm struck by the fragility of existence, the convergence of fate and circumstance that can irrevocably alter lives. Our journey since then has been one of resilience, healing, and forgiveness. Deuce's survival, his determination to find his voice again, and his unwavering spirit continue to inspire us all.
The assault was followed by the local paper. They did several articles and then one large update once Deuce was back in Nebraska.