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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mark Hutchison Update

An update from Mark:

Classmates, it's nice to connect again. It's been a long time since 1981. As you all may have heard, I had an accident on Aug. 10, 2007. Me, Mike Brown, Scott Myers and Ron Black were small mouth bass fishing on the Glover River in McCurtain County Oklahoma. It's such a remote area there's no cell service. Scott, Mike and I have been going for several years.
It was Ron's first trip. (Sorry Ron you didn't get many fish)

I decided to take the road less traveled to get to the river, fell and landed head first in the river, face down in 4 inches of water. I was paralyzed. But I could see my daughters, ages 17, 12 and 8 now, in my mind, and I refused to check out.

I was able to lift my head enough to call for help every minute or so. By the grace of God, Mike heard me, pulled me to safety and Scott and Ron weren't far behind. A helicopter took me to Arkansas and I was transferred to Oklahoma City, where I spent 123 days in the hospital and rehab with a spinal cord injury.

My doctor told me I was a quadriplegic and would probably live in a nursing home the rest of my life. I called bullshit.

I was right. I have my arms and hands back. I can feel my right foot. I can do everything but put the dastardly sheets on my bed.

I returned to work at The Oklahoman newspaper in February 2008. I have worked there 20 years. Today I'm in charge of the investigative team, rooting out corrupt politicians and scam artists. I have a handicapped van and am mobile.

I am in a wheelchair, but refuse to accept that as my final fate. Thank you so much for your phone calls, cards and e-mails, especially Robin, Amy, Mark, Holly and countless others. I'm humbled. It's made a difference.

Joni Brown gave me a sign to put over my fireplace. It reads: "Never Believe In Never!"

She is so right.

I'd like to hear from you any time. My e-mail is and phone is 405-324-0571.

Looking forward to the next reunion.

Mark Hutchison


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