Sophomore Jack Jablonski in everyone’s prayers
During a JV boys’ hockey game against the Wayzata Trojans on Friday, Dec. 30, sophomore Jack Jablonski was hit from behind, thrown into the boards, and fell to the ice, severely injured and immobile. Jablonski underwent surgery to fuse his C5 and C6 vertebrae at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Since the accident, BSM students, faculty, parents, and alumni have shown immense support for “Jabs” and his family in various ways, bringing together the entire community around one student.
Jablonski’s Caring Bride web page has received almost 100,000 visits, and visitors continue to flow in and out of his hospital room. “I think a lot of the tweeting is a big support and everyone going to the hospital whenever they can shows how much they really support him. Last time I was there, there were about 30 people there,” said Christian Horn, senior hockey captain.
The hopes of all of the supporters is to boost Jablonski’s spirits, encourage him to stay strong, and let him know he is loved by his community. “Everything that people are doing to keep his spirits up and keep him happy is really working for him. The doctor said the brain is such a powerful part in the body; his attitude can make or break what ends up happening to him in his recovery,” said Horn.
A prayer service was held at BSM during homeroom on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and the chapel was open for Eucharistic Adoration throughout the school day on Wednesday, Jan. 4. “An important thing over these days is that we are doing the most important thing we can do at this time for Jack, and that is pray,” said Mr. Mike Jeremiah, campus minister. “That’s what our school is all about––that we come together to do whatever we can, whenever we can, to bring God’s presence into people’s lives.”
Weekly “Prayer with J” will be held Thursday morning, and the rosary will be prayed with special intentions for Jablonski Friday morning before school. Both prayer sessions expect record numbers of participants based on the popularity of school-wide prayers offered thus far. “I think all of us appreciate that we can gather in prayer as a faith community to support each other and love each other,” said Dr. Sue Skinner, senior high principal.
Many winter sports teams have incorporated their support for Jablonski into their daily practices. Both the boys’ and girls’ hockey teams are putting “13” on their helmets and jerseys. The dance team is getting “13” sewn onto their warm-up jackets and writing “13” inside their performance shoes. Some basketball players have also written “13” on the outside of their shoes.
“I think students are really coming together to support each other, Jack, and his family. We all want the best for him and we know it’s not going to be an easy road, but we’ll be there together,” said Dr. Skinner.
The girls’ hockey team has ordered personalized LiveStrong braclets dedicated to Jablonski. “We ordered 50,000 bracelets, and we’re planning to sell them at school, at hockey games, and to other schools that have also expressed interest,” said Sara Taffe, junior hockey captain.
The boys’ hockey team has been particularly supportive of their teammate, continually praying as a team and doing what they can to keep his spirits high while he is in the hospital. “He’s our teammate and we love him. Everyone is sad, but they have to play through it,” said Horn.
The hockey community continues to reach out to Jablonski as NHL teams and players have contacted him to show their support. The Pittsburgh Penguins all signed a jersey and sent it to the hospital, ESPN’s John Buccigross emailed Horn to ask what he can do to help, Lou Nanne from the North Stars came to visit him at the hospital, and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils called him personally to talk with him. Many hockey players who have suffered similar injuries have also contacted the family to show their support.
The most popular venues for showing public support for Jablonski has been through posts and comments on social media sites. By the end of the day on Tuesday, Jan. 3, nearly every Red Knight had changed their Facebook profile photo to a red and white “13” logo in honor of Jablonski to show their support.
By tweeting “#Jabs,” BSM students, alumni, students from other schools, and even celebrities have made #Jabs trending nationwide for the past week. “After visiting Jabs in the hospital, I thought that it’d be a cool idea to get him trending,” said senior Jake Horton, hockey captain and originator of the trend. “Not expecting much, I sent out a tweet that said “Let’s get #jabs #13” trending, and then later that night it was.”
Additionally, a few celebrities such as Atmosphere, Modson, Joe Mauer, Macklemore, and multiple famous hockey players have either tweeted at Jablonski or retweeted “#Jabs” tweets sent to them.
“All of the thought and prayer going out to Jack from BSM, other organizations, or people really shows what a great kid Jack is and what great character he has,” said Horton.