Wednesday, April 13, 2011

At first glance...

Gates, Chase Cappellucci, Mark Evans and Taryn Rose

Gates, Cody and Garrett Millward

At first glance…  You see a teenager, lying clothed in wires and cords;
But beyond that…  There’s a man, standing at the threshold of the rest of his life.

At first glance…  You see five kids, encircle their beloved friend;
But beyond that…  There’s an entire society who envelope Gates with their love.

At first glance…  You see a young man struggling to sit upright in his bed;
But beyond that…  You see a brother, a son; bring light to an otherwise dark room.

At first glance…  You see the tube that creeps past his dry lips;
But beyond that…  You see another miracle and tender mercy:  Gates’ smile!

I didn’t give much introduction to the post tonight because as I surveyed the pictures I realized, that’s all the foreword needed.

Where two nights ago Gates’ lung collapsed, now he’s again breathing on his own.  Today is the BIG day!  Please keep Gates in your prayers, specifically asking for his breathing to continue to improve, as his ventilator will be removed this morning.  If he sustains strong breaths, he won’t need the tracheotomy after all!

Yesterday, Gates was strapped to what is known as a “Tilt Table.”  It’s used for Gates’ rehabilitation considering he’s been lying down for such a long period of time.  Doctors gradually tilt to the table to the vertical, allowing Gates to become adjusted to an upright position and giving doctors the ability to test his blood pressure.  All systems are good!

Out of respect for Gates, we didn’t post pictures of him in the hospital until he gave his dad the “o.k.”

And finally, Gates learned of the blog last night; he had no idea any of this was being documented.  He requested to wait to read the entries till he felt better, given this:  Please, please share your comments for Gates.  One day this will be a source from which he draws strength.  Know him or not, your comments are welcome.


  1. It's great to see Gates Smile!! We are certainly praying extra hard today hoping you're breathing will continue to improve and you won't have to have the trach!
    Brian and Cheri we are still praying for your comfort and strenght as well.
    Love to you all XOXO

  2. These pitcure's are great! What wonderful thing is too have a great family let alone great friend's. Our prayer's are truely with Gates & his breating. He has moved mountain's. I am praying for peace,relief & comfort of your family & Gates. We love you all so much. Every morning my mom ask's "so what did the blog say today"? I pray & have faith that Heavenly Father will keep his arms around you all at this time & for those who are pulling for you. Love you guy's!!!

  3. Ken, you look great! Me and Allie and Marisa are going to try to see you this weekend sometime, if not next week. Love you!!!

  4. My sister cuts Gates hair and I know she loves him very much. She has shared the link to this blog with me and even though I'm across the country I find strength from the faith of this family and Gate's courage. My prayers are with you all!

  5. Gates,
    Glad to hear you are doing better. We are all wishing the best for you! Although I have never really spoken with you, I believe you were friend with my boyfriend, Nick Deluca, we are both praying for you and hoping for the best. Stay strong you will get through this! Your doing great already! :)

    ~Kasey Nelson~

  6. Gates,

    You don't know me, nor I you, but my heart has been touched by your life. Sometimes strangers say, "You are in my prayers," but I really mean it. I've thought of you often, and in my prayers, the last week. They don't necessarily know me, but I know your Dad, your uncle Jeff, and your grandparents from living in Logan. Hunsakers are great people who are admired by many.

    I hope you go for it! I hope you keep having miracles every day. I'm sure your hospital room is a sacred place as the spirit is there whispering comforting words to you, your family, and your friends.

    I'll keep praying for you. Thank you to the person who is doing this blog. It is very well done.


  7. GATES! you are so amazing! I admire you so much. you are in my thoughts daily. I am hoping to come see you in the next week. I want you to know I absolutely love you! You are strong. I am so happy you are smiling! you are in my prayers at all times as well as my family and so many other people down here in Provo. I will see you soon!

    -Aubree Jones

  8. Gates! I'm so glad that you are improving so quickly! You are still in my prayers and I hoping to come see you either this weekend or the next! Stay strong

    -S. Jeanette Smith

  9. Gates We LOVE YOU!! We knew you'd improve quickly as you are a fighter. We are always checking in on you and seeing how you are doing. We are trying to get our schedules worked out so we can come see you. We love you and everyone here is praying for you!

    Jerred and Timari (Uncle and Aunt)

  10. Gates,
    You do not know me, but like so many others I feel I know you and your amazing family. We are literally all praying for you. I mean that. Since we first heard of the accident, my family can not get you off our minds or out of our hearts. I literally think you have started your mission and you and your family's faith and courage has touched all of us. I will continue to watch you progress as I know the Lord has a plan for Gates. Thank you for sharing this blog as it gives all of us knowledge of God's tender mercies in our lives.

  11. Gates!
    You look great! Im soo happy to see that big smile on your face! Im so ready to come visit so I can spend a little bit of time with you, Even though I know you will be laughing at my accent the whole time, gosh I miss you so much I just can't wait. Keep up the hard work (which I know you will) you are doing so amazing! Im so proud to have a friend as strong as you. You are literally on my mind all day. Everyone is praying for you and your family, I know there is a huge group here at the University that is constantly asking how you are, as well as a candle has been lit for you at Juan Diego, you have been put up on numerous prayer boards, and lists. We are all praying for you, I know you can do this! I love this blog, being so far away it is hard to keep up with whats going on, but this gives me a nice piece of mind because I know everything is ok, and that you are doing great! so thank you
    I love you so much! and cant wait to see you! :)

  12. You don't know me, but for reasons I can't fully explain, I have been following your story and recovery closely. This blog is a testament that you have already touched many people in your life, and will continue to touch even more as you continue your recover with faith, optimism and dignity. I wish you well and pray for your recovery.

  13. Gates! You have been in my thoughts and prayers since the accident. When I first heard about the accident and it really hit me that you were hurt I was getting down feeling despair for your situation but then a thought came into my mind. It was of when we were on the swim team together at a meet against Mountain crest or something. You had apparently thrown up in the locker room and your event was coming up. I let you lay your head on my lap and I told you that you shouldn't swim because of how crummy you felt(You had just thrown up for pete sake!!). You of course did not take my advise because you got up and swam your event with flying colors! If I remember correctly it was the butterfly which uses all of those muscles you used to throw up so you were probably terribly sore. I don't know how you found the strength but you did and that's all that matters. When I remembered this memory of your strength and motivation, I knew that you would be fighter, and not let this challenge get you down. It is so nice to see you smiling in this pictures! Keep your head up, you're doing amazing! Love ya Gates!!! Keep on truckin'!

  14. Gates--
    My family and I have been inspired and touched by your courage and strength. Bill and I visited with your dad and grandparents at the hospital yesterday. Their love for you and their spiritual strength filled the room. We feel blessed to know you and your family and we are strengthened by your will and determination. We think about you and pray for you every day. Love, Bill and Alane White

  15. Gates-
    Though I don't personally know you, I have felt the impact of your story. It has helped me in so many ways but what I am grateful for most, is YOUR strength and courage, and YOUR faith. I cannot express to you the spirit that it brings.

    A year ago in my ward conference, the stake president motivated and encouraged us members with a simple statement. He said, "You can do hard things". You have truly exemplified this in every way possible! My thoughts and prayers will go out to you and your family continually, in the hopes of a remarkable recovery. Keep smiling!

  16. Gates,
    I, like many other people who are following your blog don't know you. I actually feel a little silly leaving a comment but I couldn't help myself. I'm not the religous or even spiritual type, but I can't help but become overcome by my emotions with every update I read. I think of you daily and can't help but share your story with almost every person I talk to. You are amazing and definately inspire me. Truly amazing. Thanks.


    Also thank you to the author of this blog!

  17. Hi Gates! I'm Aunt Kerri... I'm Bill Rose's sister! I want you to know that we here in Boise are rooting for you! We know how much the Rose's love you and your we love you too. I think you had met Haley up at Utah State. She says Hi, and wants you to get well soon. It's great to see you smiling! We will keep you in our prayers every single day!

    My husband went to medical school in New Orleans at Tulane, so we lived there for four years...I've shared your story with some of our Louisiana friends and they are keeping you in their prayers too.

    Let me tell you a little bit about Southern folk...they are the kindest people you will ever meet, they believe in the power of prayer, they love the Lord with all their heart, they are humble, and resilient, and they never, ever give up! You were called there for a reason...Because YOU ARE SOUTHERN! Better start saying Hey Ya'll to all who greet you now!


    Aunt Kerri Rose Macdonald

  18. Hi ya! Gates! My name is Rachel Krebs my Aunt and Uncle Jeri and Dennis live right next to you, plus we went to high school together. I just can't begin to tell you how happy I am to see such a big smile on your face! You are doing such a great job at staying positive. Your going to get through this you have all of our support and love. Hope to visit you soon!!

  19. Hi Gates, you are blessed to have such great friends, especially Garrett. You have an awesome family! They are light and inspiration to you and you are to them and all of us and me. I shared your story with 44 of my colleagues two days after your accident and I gave them an update today. Many of them are so touched that they have included you in their prayers and they are receiving each blog post via my Facebook. I am so grateful to the person who put up this blog and posts pictures and updates daily because each day when I read and see them, my heart is touched and my spirit is lifted with greater hope and love. I don't know you very well personally rather I know your dad much better. But one thing I do know from Garret and my daughter Brieana Donovan, and that is you live life large, that you have overcome many obstacles and challenges and adversity and I am confident and believe, that this lifestyle, mindset, and attitude will enable you to beat the current odds and live life large again soon. It's great to see you smiling today in your pictures...remember attitude is everything and with your faith and God's help, you're unstoppable.

  20. Gates, Brian and Sheri, I was out of town for a few days and rushed in to see what happened and was shocked and surprised, happily I might add, to see photos of Gates with friends and smiling. Gates, I am sure that is lifting your spirits. It is always good to see friends. Looking forward to when you come home and will help in whatever. You are all in our thoughts. Dennis and Jeri.

  21. Gates, you are an inspiration. I don't know if you remember me, but I am your cousin Addie's friend, and I got the opportunity to meet you and your family one Super Bowl Sunday two years ago at Jeff and Angie's house. I remember your sweet spirit and your light. All of us who know the Hunsakers are praying for you and know that miracles can happen. Thanks for being such a great example for all of us. Best of luck to you.
    Emily Brown

  22. Gates, we are friends with your Uncle Jeff and Aunt Angie...we have been praying for you and your whole family ever since we heard of your situation. I love to hear of the many miracles that have already taken place and I know that many more will continue to be showered upon you and your loved ones. We believe in miracles in our family and we know that Heavenly Father knows you and is aware of you and this trial. We will continue to keep you in our prayers and send you some cyber-love. :) Kristin and Dell Brown

  23. Gates I love you buddy!! You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. Hang in there and stay strong. You're are doing so great and i love your smile. You have been a huge inspiration. I hope i get to come see you soon. Love you so much!

  24. Gates,

    You don't know me but I have seen you many times. My family is in your ward (Tom and Stephanie Stuart). You are an inspiration to everyone you know. The Sunday after your accident, as a ward family, we had a wonderful testimony meeting about you and everyone is keeping you in their prayers. Everyone loves you and looks up to your courage and determination as you start life in a different light. Stay strong and keep Brandon Sulser as a mentor. He has been through what you are going through and he is a wonderful person! I know you will overcome this trial in your life to be positive and accept yourself as who you are just as Brandon did and live life to the fullest! You are a wonderful person, Gates, and I along with everyone that knows your story will keep you in our prayers! You are a great example, so thank you!

    Staci (Stuart) Smith

  25. Gatesey Watesey!!
    Remember 6th grade? Kaycee and I fought over you all the time. You are still the bright happy kid we knew then!! Thank you for similing, man. You are changing the world. Really.


  26. I've never met you, but I'm always praying for you. You got this.

  27. Gates,
    I cherish many childhood memories that include you and your family. I have a picture on my bookshelf of a little 4 year old girl holding a newborn babe - me and you. I was very sad I couldn't ride my scooter to visit anymore after you and your family moved to Bountiful. It's been a while since I had seenyou... But you'll remain in my heart forever. Hang in there and continue to do what you've always done -being amazing!! Best of luck!!!
    -Kylie Rakes

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  29. gates!! I cannot wait to watch some more Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with you &laugh at the names on the ending credits!! :) I LOVE reading your progess everyday &my team &other athletes here at the school also join me when we log onto the blog, you are the highlight to our day! it's so good to see that smile!! love you lots!! keep strong, you are amazing and an inspiration!!
    -kelsey plowman &athletes at LCC:)

  30. Gates, I taught you swimming lessons many years ago. When I heard about your accident on T.V. my heart went out to you and your family. As I read this blog I realize what an amazing young man you have become! Know that so many prayers have gone to Heaven in your behalf. Stay strong and positive! You are a wonderful example to us all!!!
    Shannon Hebdon

  31. Hey Gates. We might not have been great friends in school, but I've always looked up and admired that great big friendly smile of yours! And how thrilled I was to see you smiling once again in these pictures. You are in my thoughts and prayers, what a wonderful example you are to me and so many around you!
    -Haley Benson

  32. I just realized that you probably didn't know who mjdancing is so yeah I changed my display name! Love ya Gates! Stay Strong. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
    -Megan Johnson

  33. Well, I don't know you, but my friend does and she showed me this blog. Just reading about you has strengthened my testimony and showed me how strong you are. Thank you, and keep strong!!!

  34. Gates,
    I know we're not 'best' friends but what I've seen, you're a great kid! Your story has inspired me along with others. A Brother in my ward has kind of the same story as you. He had just graduated high school and was very big into skiing. He had his mission call and was all set to go. Sometime before he left he was skiing and he got into a tarable crash. He lay in the snow with a broken back. As the snow continued to fall on his helpless body he was covered. He would have to blow the snow away from his mouth so he could breath. He thought he was going to die there. After hours of laying there covered with snow, he was spotted as he blew the snow out of his mouth. The person walked over there and found him. After many doc. told him he would never walk again. He worked very hard and eventually learned how to walk and he actually went on his mission! I know there's hope for you! Keep working hard Gates, you are such an amazing person! You are always in my prayers! Don't stop fighting!
    -Dallas Horn

  35. I heard about this story on the news several weeks ago- my heart broke for this young man that I didn't know. I came across this link on my friend Cami Prows Hickox blog and I am very, extremely touched by this blog.
    My dad suffered a rock climbing accident 6 years ago this August and reading through the experiences that your family is going through has brought back the feelings I had then. The biggest thing I knew then, and I continue to know now, is "Everything will be okay". I feel the spirit when I read this blog- your family has such a strong spirit and Gates' spirit is overflowing through the people surrounding him.
    I really do wish your family the best and I hope that you can find peace and solice in these moments that may be so hard. But remember who's Hands you are in.
    Elise Curtis

  36. So you are probably wondering why I am commenting because I don't know Gates personally, but I feel like I do. This was the day (Wednesday, April 13th) that my dad arrived in the Trauma ICU at the IHC hospital. At first, my dad and his head injury was all I, and my family, could think about. We were picturing our world falling apart and wondering if he would still be with us. But as the days passed and we sat in the waiting room, I began to notice several things. One: there was somebody's Grandparent's sitting patiently with us. Two: throngs of teenagers came to the visiting room to wait, sometimes not even able to go into the trauma ICU to see their friend because some days only family is allowed, but waiting and being near anyway. Three: not only friends but several family members visiting too. and Four: noticing a mom and dad CONSTANTLY by their son's side night and day. These people are amazing.Of course I soon began to recognize these people as the "People for Gates". Even though much wasn't said between me and the relations to Gates, just being in the ICU waiting room I could feel a sense of hope. We all share something in common as we wait patiently for our loved ones.
    Gates has been in my prayers ever since. I know the power of fasting and prayer as we felt it for my dad. He has been transfered to the University hospital now and I am glad to say is recovering but it was a rough few weeks when we weren't sure he would ever recover.
    Being in the trauma ICU as a bystander is very humbling. This experience is one I won't ever forget. I deeply admire Gates and his family for their love, strength, and courage they possess. Good luck and we are praying for you!