It has been a little more than seven months since Columbus North senior basketball star Josh Speidel was involved in a car accident that left him in a coma and suffering from a severe brain injury.
Speidel’s condition has steadily improved since that Feb. 1 crash. He was able to attend his high school graduation and the Indiana All-Stars games in June. After several months of recovery spent in Indianapolis hospitals, Speidel is living at home in Columbus as he continues his rehabilitation process.
Josh is learning to walk again. His mother, Lisa, recently posted a video on her Facebook page of Josh making a basket on the goal outside the family’s house.
Lisa wrote a letter to the Star on Tuesday. She thanked all of those who have helped the Speidel family for the past seven months. Here is her letter in its entirety:
“There is a saying that is often used during challenging times in our life, ‘God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,’ that is true but only if we rely on God to lead and provide everything we need to face our battles. On February 1, 2015, we blinked and life as we knew it came to a halt. We received the call of every parent’s nightmare, “Your son was involved in a horrific car accident and is being Life Lined to Indianapolis. Come quickly to the hospital.” We immediately began praying for Josh, the current and future medical staff working with Josh, and for strength and guidance for Dave, Jamie, Micayla and I as we faced the unknown battles ahead of us.
“God heard our pleas. We want to say Thank You for answering God’s call to provide us with support and continually lifting us in prayer. Your words, hugs, visits, and calls are all perfectly timed and help us continue to travel this journey with strength and courage despite the unknown of a traumatic brain injury.
“We believe that every medical person and therapist who crossed or will cross Josh’s path were chosen by God to help him along this marathon. To the first responders and those that stopped traffic, thank you for working as quickly as possible to rescue Josh. To the staff of Columbus Regional Hospital, Methodist, IU Health, Select Specialty Hospital, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, and the Neuro Rehab Clinic, thank you for saving Josh’s life. Not having control and being unable to help your hurting child is a helpless feeling, so we had to give him over to God and each of you. Thank you for using your wisdom, gifts, and talents to develop a plan to help Josh reach each milestone of his recovery. You’ve not only helped Josh, you’ve helped each member of our family and our friends with your guidance and support. Thank you Lisa Vincent, Brenda King, and Brad Branham for going above and beyond to offer extra support for Josh.
“We thank the city of Columbus and Columbus North High School for never-ending support. To Pastor Chuck and the Community Church of Columbus, thank you for being by our side. We love you! Keirstin White, thank you for establishing the GoFund Me account and helping organize other fundraising efforts. #JoshStrong soon traveled over the state, country, and world. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotional and financial support from all over Indiana and beyond. To the sports and basketball community, thank you for continuing to support Josh. It was incredible to receive the letters, well wishes, and encouragement from all the schools, universities, youth teams and professional teams. We are especially appreciative of Dan Dakich for sharing Josh’s journey and encouraging so much support. Thank you to the communities and businesses that wrapped up our families in prayer and support. I know I would forget someone if I begin listing the businesses and individuals. Please know we treasure each of you. To Dave’s hometown of Greentown/Kokomo, thank you for supporting all the Speidels. To my hometown of Gainesville, GA., and New Bridge Baptist, thank you for helping take care of my mom and siblings. To the town of Pendleton, we love each of you. Thank you for becoming #JoshStrong! Your support reminds me of why we love our first Indiana home. To the state of Vermont and the city of Burlington, thank you for caring for a future Catamount before he even puts on his uniform. Thank you Coach Becker, Coach Cieplicki, and UVM for standing beside Josh from the beginning! We know Josh made the right choice! A special thanks to Frontier Communications and Seymour Community Schools for being understanding employers and supporters through this journey.
“Finally, thank you to our family and friends for being with us from the time we walked into Methodist. We truly love you. Thank you to each of Josh’s friends who have been by his side. They are an incredible group of people. We hope they take away from this tragedy the fragility of life. We also want them to remember that no matter what life’s journey brings their way, they can overcome with faith, family, and friends!
“We don’t know where this journey will take us, however we are traveling the journey because of God and you. May God bless each of you. Running the #JoshStrong marathon.
Lisa, David, Josh, Micayla, Jamie Speidel”