The Commerce Journal

Local News

October 31, 2013

Jackson begins recovery, thanks to strong will, support

COMMERCE — Commerce’s Al Jackson is a senior wide receiver/defensive back, a former all-district selection who helps anchor a team that has had a lot to overcome this season. But wins and losses were the last thing on anyone’s mind Friday night during the Tigers’ homecoming game against Howe, following a collision that left Jackson motionless on the ground.

“I played football for 13 years and I’ve coached for more than 20, and I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Tigers Head Coach Scott Wells said. “We were all scared and worried sick for him. It puts everything in perspective.”

Jackson attempted to tackle a Howe ball carrier, but the angle he took caused the Howe players’ knee to go right into his neck.

“The hit forced his chin forward to his chest, causing a burst fracture of the C5 vertebrae, breaking the small bones in his chest and bruising his spinal chord,” his mother Teri Miller said.

He was careflighted to Plano Medical Center and underwent surgery Saturday morning that fused his C3-C6 vertebrae and cleaned up some tissue and muscle damage. Jackson’s condition improved on Sunday, and early this week he began slowly walking again with the aid of a walker. He will undergo six weeks of occupational therapy before he is reevaluated.

“Because of his will alone, he’s already pushed himself ahead of where anyone could fathom he would be,” Miller said. “If the doctors tell him to do something, he does it to the point of exhaustion.”

Jackson will never play football again, but he does hope to play basketball. According to Miller, that motivation is important to his recovery.

“With every obstacle he’s faced, without a ball in his hand, I don’t know if he’d been where he is today,” Miller said. “His driving force is to be back on the basketball court.”

Jackson dreamed of playing sports at the collegiate level since third grade, according to Miller. Which meant that when McNeese State quarterback Grant Ashcraft reached out to him on Facebook, it had a powerful impact on Jackson.

“As a brother in the football community, I wanted to send my prayers and best wishes,” Ashcraft wrote. “Just like football, this is a challenge God has put in front of you. He’s watching over you and will always be by your side. Hope you have a speedy and full recovery. God bless you Al.”

The Commerce community and others across the state have been extremely supportive of Jackson. A Facebook group, “Prayers for Al Jackson,” has more than 3,000 likes and counting. The Lady Tigers’ varsity volleyball program wore blue ribbons on Monday night in support of Jackson, while players and coaches from local high schools and colleges have expressed their support.

“Their support means a lot,” Wells said. “I know the Howe coach called me a couple of times, as did some of the officials from the game. I know it means a lot to Al to have everyone check on him and say ‘hi.’”

The Howe football team gave Jackson a signed jersey, and local schools are starting fundraising efforts to pay for his medical expenses. Bishop Union High School in California is dedicating the rest of its volleyball games to him and Commerce High School is allowing everyone to wear Halloween costumes today in exchange for a donation.

“He couldn’t believe that so many people care about what he’s doing,” Miller said. “It’s pretty nice to live in small town Texas.”

Jackson went home from the hospital on Oct. 29.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • University to host Korean Consul-General

    Texas A&M University-Commerce will host a distinguished international politician today as former ambassador and Consul-General of the Republic of Korea Suk-Bum Park visits the campus.

    April 15, 2014

  • CR 1081 Damage 2.jpg Storm damages Hunt County

    Although Commerce was not struck by the series of tornadoes that occurred on April 3, it bore much of the impact of the severe weather caused by the storm cell. 

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Food pantry assists the ‘working poor’

    When Bread of Life Church of the Nazarene took over a monthly food pantry from Word of Life Church in Commerce, Pastor Jan Wilton told members of the Commerce Lions Club she felt a need to help the Commerce community.

    April 9, 2014

  • CR 1081 Damage 2.jpg Tornado bigger than first thought

    Additional details were released Monday about the size and intensity of last week’s tornado which struck northern Hunt County.

    April 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drumming up some fun

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to be part of a drum line at a university?

    April 3, 2014

  • Teachers honored at Commerce board meeting

    The Commerce ISD Board of Trustees held open session on March 20 to recognize the achievements of the Commerce ISD Campus Teachers of the Year, as well as discuss the potential offering of non-core classes to students not enrolled in the district.

    April 1, 2014

  • Environmental project to beautify park

    As the drought continues in Texas, water conservation is a hot topic.

    March 31, 2014

  • Organization revamps Commerce Animal Shelter

    No-kill is love, according to Jennifer Caves.

    March 29, 2014

  • Annual Boots & BBQ set for April

    Tickets are on sale for the annual Boots & BBQ celebration and fundraiser hosted by the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 12 at Commerce High School.

    March 27, 2014

  • Trespassing on A&M-Commerce property

    Some Commerce residents tried living the college life, without attending college.

    March 27, 2014

Featured Ads

Poll

What should be new A&M-C women's basketball coach Jason Burton's goals for the 2014-15 season?

Winning 10 games
Winning and LSC tournament game
His focus should be on recruiting/building the team, rather than immediate success
     View Results
Must Read
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide