Jack Jablonski had a rough winter, but he's been on a heck of a run this summer. Now, less than two weeks after Jablonski stunned many by showing movement in his extremities and crawling during a rehabilitation session, the teenager left his rehab center to help kick off the Minnesota Vikings' season by blowing the team's famous gjallarhorn before the team's preseason game on Saturday.
Photos of Jablonski tooting on the massive gjallarhorn first surfaced on the Twitter account of Keith Leventhal, a sports reporter for Minneapolis TV network KARE.
Shortly thereafter video of the event popped up, showcasing the 10,000 Lakes state's latest effort to wrap its collective arms around a teenager who has become one of the state's favorite sons following a tragic accident in the closing days of 2011 which was believed to have left him paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life.
Now there are significant questions about whether the initial diagnoses of total paralysis for Jablonski were far too dire. Jablonski's crawling episode was by far the most impressive step he has made in his comprehensive recovery, but the teen had also moved his fingers earlier, stoking hopes that he might be able to make a recovery from the accidental hit that broke the teen's neck behind the net in a junior varsity hockey game.
Throughout the entire ordeal Jablonski has maintained a remarkably positive attitude, often seen smiling and, last February, cheering on his teammates to a state championship. He remains a key part of the Benilde-St. Margarets (Minn.) High community in spirit, and his rapid improvements continue to give encouragement that might eventually return to a more normal life with his friends and peers.
For now, Jablonski and a state -- or perhaps nation -- worth of his fans will have to settle for watching Jack blow the celebratory gjallarhorn. That's not walking, but given where he was just months ago, it's inspiring nonetheless.
- Sports & Recreation
- Minnesota Vikings