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This "Buck" Doesn't Stop Here

Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011, at 6:59 AM

Famous Missourian Harry Truman, as U.S. president, once said: "The buck stops here."

A not so famous Missouri native, John Buck Jr., who was born at Canalou in New Madrid County, said: "This Buck does not stop here."

Following a four-wheeler accident that snapped his neck in 2004, the prognosis from medical experts,was that he would never walk again.

In that era (2005), John and wife Pat lived near where I worked in Tennessee as a newspaper columnist. I penned the story about John's accident, and him being diagnosed as paraplegic.

Four months later, you can imagine "the hush" that swept through our offices when John Buck Jr. "walked unassisted" in our newsroom.

When he stepped into my office, I had to sit down, for it took my breath when witnessing John "walk".

His wife described the "first fledgling steps."

"I got home from work one afternoon, when our daughter Kelly yelled out for me to come on to the back part of the house," Pat described. "You can't imagine the emotions and thankful tears that swept through all of us, as we witnessed John taking his first steps...!! Kelly had always had "the faith" that her father would walk again."

Back at the newspaper office, John gave me the following quote: "I'm from Canalou, Mo., from a tough, proud stock of people, and I'm here to declare this Buck does not stop here!!."

Nashville Vanderbilt Hospital neurosurgeon Paul Boone had been on duty when the injured John Buck Jr., the son of present-day Butler County, Mo., residents John and Renda Buck, was brought paralyzed into the hospital.

"He was presented to us unable to move his lower limbs," the doctor diagnosed. "From extensive tests and exams, it was determined Mr. Buck would be paraplegic.

"He recovered quite well from initial surgery, but the prospect was still dim that he'd ever walk again.

"But down through the months, he made remarkable recovery, a big part of which was his positive attitude, plus his intense motivation to seek therapy began to pay off..."

The doctor concluded: "For the vast majority of patients, there is no recovery. Mr. Buck and his determination is clearly the exception..."

"Faith" played a big part in the miracle, declared wife Pat.

"We had prayer partners throughout Missouri and Tennessee," she shared. "We received our miracle..."

It's that kind of faith exemplified by John Buck Jr. and his family, that helps me have the personal "New Years'" resolve to prayerfully fully recover from my three major surgeries of 2011.

So far, all is well from my open heart, pace maker and carotid artery surgeries. I thank God for modern medical miracles.


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Retired recently as world-traveled newspaperman, career made possible by late Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Rasche, about to have Bootheel life book published by SEMO State University. Loved farm life, but knew at five years old, didn't want to be a "cotton picker" when I grew up.
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