Saturday, April 16, 2011

I heard what I was supposed to hear...

Gates endured disappointment today.

The thing is, Gates had another great day.  Yesterday the doctor planned to do the tracheotomy, if not today, sometime within the next couple.  This morning, the Doc said, “It doesn’t look like the trach is in the cards.”  This is a huge blessing as the tracheotomy, though provides great benefit if necessary, also poses great risk.  If the surgery is escapable, it reduces the danger of infection, amongst other things.

His therapy forges on and Gates spent three hours in the “Stroke Chair” which is miles ahead than a lot of people in his same situation.  He was in a good mood, joking again with friends, smiling and demonstrating how he could move his arms. 

However, it was his “disappointment” that taught tonight.

Pressing the phone to my ear, with my left hand, and using my elbow of the same arm to steady the paper, I jotted down notes while listening to Brian tell me of Gates’ progress.   I got frustrated with my paper moving, while attempting to write, and finally quit to focus on what he was saying rather than bother with my scribblings; it was then I heard what I was supposed to hear – at least for me.

Brian:  “Gates still hasn’t had that Sprite yet.  It’s too bad because the therapists were telling him, ‘Today is the day.’  He was really looking forward to it, pretty much all day.  In fact, seeing his disappointment they offered to soak a cloth and allow him to suck the soda from the fabric.”

Gates isn’t allowed to drink; his ability to swallow was compromised thanks to the ventilator that occupied his airways for almost a week.  He’s given ice-chips, which in-and-of itself is another milestone he’s surpassed.

Oh the things I take for granted…  Gates has inspired me to look at my life with eternal perspective.  I love the quote given by Spencer W. Kimball, “If we look at mortality as a complete existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life could be a calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing…  then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.”

I am grateful for the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father.  I am thankful to know that, thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can enjoy eternal life, raised in perfection.  I'm grateful for miracles and know they have happened, are happening and will happen with Gates.  I am indebted to Gates and am inspired by him as he chooses to be happy while facing this adversity.

Gates, Grandpa Hunsaker, Avery, Grandma Hunsaker, Gentry


  1. I just want to share that I am one of the nurses that has been PRIVILEGED to take care of Gates and get to know him and his family. What a tremendous blessing it has been for me.
    I've always believed that Heavenly Father puts others in our lives for a reason and meeting Gates and his family has been no exception. I have learned more this past week about faith, courage, and what it means to stand by those we love.
    I want everyone to know that Gates is incredible (even though I know all of you know this already). He has faced this with humor and a smile...he even sang to me last night :) He is making progress every day by leaps and bounds and willingly does what we ask of him...all the while making us smile.
    We all love him in STICU...and look forward to seeing him progress as he enters the rehabilitation phase and has to say goodbye to us :)

  2. Dearest Gates!
    Another day with great miracle's. You have taken leap's & bound's. I love reading today's blog from your family & also what your great nurse had too say about you. She sound's like a great inspiration as well. Heavenly father has given us great tool's in this day & age & one that im thankful for is the internet so we as family & friend's can follow day to day on how your doing. We love you so much & are so thankful for you for steadfast attitude. You are so blessed for the parent's,sibling's,grandparent's,other family member's & friend's who care so much about you. But on the other hand we are learning so much from you. You have amazed me everyday.I am so thankful for our Father in Heaven who has heard our prayer's. It's not just us as adult's but our children as well having faith & watching the growth in you. I called my sister "Christie" last night & I asked her if she got too stop & see you, "she said yes" & went on too tell me about her visit with you all. She said next time she goes down too see you she will be able too take me along. I will be so happy too see you & the family. I have faith you "will" get that sprite!!! You have moved mountain's. Thankyou so much for the faith & testimony that within myself has grown in less then 2 week's. I love you & all the family so much. Keep up the good work my dear cousin & I will see you soon!

  3. Seeing you yesterday, was one of the best days of my life, no lie. You looked so good and in good spirits! My favorite was when your dad said, because of your crazy hair, that you looked like wolverine from x men! And you flashed a wolverine face hahaha. So awesome! I also loved that when Allie pulled out the Ken Barbie Doll from her purse and showed you, the HUGE eye rolls and HUGE smile that you had:) hahaha. For those who don't know, me and my 2 friends Allie and Marisa, have always thought he looks like the barbie doll, Ken! So we call him Ken sometimes haha. Anyway, it was so fun to see you, and don't worry we will come again soon. I can't believe how many people you have inspired and touched! Holy cow! All I know is that you have changed my life, and my attitude, and view on life and many other things have completely changed for the better. I am a better person because of your outstanding faith and never ending courage and endurance. I love you Gates, and let me tell you, you've got your very own military behind you fighting WITH you every second of everyday, and most importantly you have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ fighting with you. You have already defied so many odds, brought forth so many miracles, changed literally hundreds of lives, and inspired the world. Keep smiling, and you will get that sprite soon enough!!! Love you tons, and see you soon.

    Love, Leah

  4. We are some strangers from Idaho and I just came across your blog. What an inspiring young man. His strength and faith is amazing. We will keep you in our prayers. Keep persevering gates!!!
    Love- The Walker's

  5. im coming to see you again in a couple days bud :) hopefully by then you'll get your sprite! keep up the positive attitude gates, you are an example to all of us.