Joel Gomez, "I'm really, really lucky"
Snip from Stacy St. Clair:
'I'm really, really lucky'
By Stacy St. Clair
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Eight-year-old Julio Sanchez stands next to his uncle's bed and watches him go through occupational therapy.
The therapist is urging Joel Gomez to flex his biceps and hold it there. A simple task for most people, the exercise is painful and exhausting for the Army sergeant, who was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident in Iraq.
He grunts and scrunches his face as if he were bench pressing an enormous weight. Julio's eyes are wide with anxiety and admiration.
Joel sees his nephew's face and tries to lighten the mood.
"Are you watching my back?" he asks Julio. "Are you looking out for Charlie?"
Panic flashes across Julio's face as he admits he doesn't know who Charlie is.
"You don't know who Charlie is?" Joel responds, winking at the adults in his hospital room. "Well, you better find out. I'm counting on you."
It's a simple exchange that tells a lot about the circumstances of Joel Gomez's new life. Even in his debilitated condition, the Wheaton native displays the sense of humor his family always has known him for. He finds his close family relationship to be his greatest inspiration - but he often is their strength, too.
Posted by Critt Jarvis at 10:43 PM | Permalink
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i had a boyfriend name joel i like cal him as myluvz,.... he is verry understandin. mkulit at sobra daldal pero da best sobrang maalalahanin kaya nga luvz q sya eh
Posted by: mhelodie | Jul 15, 2005 10:42:40 PM