Kamloops man injured in baseball bat attack isolated during COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops man injured in baseball bat attack isolated during COVID-19

Jessie Simpson was just 18 years old when he was beaten with an aluminum baseball bat, an incident that left him permanently brain-damaged.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Sue Simpson
August 25, 2020 - 6:00 AM

It has been more than four years since the brutal attack that left Jessie Simpson with permanent brain damage, but his mom says he may finally be able to return home for his birthday next July.

“This next year will be dedicated to bringing Jessie home, so I’ll be slowing down everything else to focus on that,” Sue Simpson says. “I just want him to be comfortable and happy when he comes home. It’s going to be the best moments of our lives after four and a half years when Jessie walks through that door. Well, I guess we’ll wheel him now.”

Simpson says she knows she won’t be able to bring him back full time due to the help he requires and the fact that she must continue working, so overnight visits are her goal. In the meantime, she is planning to build a new outdoor deck, wheelchair ramps, railings and much more to make his visits as comfortable as they can be.

PapaG’s Cafe in Kamloops recently ran a fundraiser for Jessie that brought in nearly $1,000, and Simpson says it is just one of many ways the community has stepped up to help.

Jessie was attacked by a man with an aluminum baseball bat in the early morning hours of June 19, 2016. He was leaving a graduation party and stumbled across the wrong address when looking for his friend’s house. The homeowner, Kristopher Teichrieb, hit Jessie in the head multiple times.

READ MORE: Teichrieb sentenced to seven years in prison for baseball bat attack

“He was in a coma for ten and a half months and when he came out they said they said he’d never walk or talk again. He’s not walking yet but he’s talking and he’s coming back more. I can have a full conversation and he understands every word I say, which is amazing,” Simpson says. “It’s hard, it was a lot to take in when he got hurt. I almost lost him 11 times.”

Simpson says although things have improved greatly over the past four years, the pandemic put a new kind of strain on the family.

“I’ve just started to be able to see him again the last few months… we’re inside, we’re six feet apart and I haven’t hugged my son in five months. We just had a birthday for Jessie July 26. He turned 23 and I couldn’t wrap his presents, couldn’t bring a cake, couldn’t hug him, couldn’t kiss him, it was very strange because of COVID.”

Jessie’s family and friends still showed up to make his day a bit brighter and waved hello from the parking lot. Simpson says despite the happy day, the COVID-19 has left Jessie isolated in the nursing home where he lives.

“Jessie has gone into the hospital a few times in the past months, he’s got kidney stones so we’re waiting on kidney surgery again for him. This will be 12 surgeries for Jessie,” Simpson says.  “If he goes to the hospital there’s a two-week quarantine period where he’s alone. It’s hard, it’s really hard for him.”

Moving forward, Simpson hopes people will donate to the fundraisers for her son. She has already been given a medical bed and has purchased a lift and a medical van that is currently in the shop. She’ll need plenty of adult diapers, linoleum floorings, building materials and more to bring him home. Simpson has already raised more than $35,000 through online fundraising and doesn't know how much else has been raised through the community in the past four years.

“The big reason for (bringing him home) is because he wants to cook a hotdog and sit on the beach, so when I started the GoFundMe I called it ‘Quality Of Life’ because that’s what he needs. He’s 23 years old and he’s in a nursing home, it’s not fair for him. It’s just not fair. Every time I walk away I cry to see him in there.”

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe, and here to donate to Simpson's Facebook fundraiser.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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