MINNEAPOLIS — For months, Jack Jablonski has been inspiring Minnesotans with his effervescent attitude and stunning recovery from a severed spinal cord due to a hit in a high school hockey game last December.
On Friday, Minnesota sports fans got to show their appreciation for “Jabs” with an ovation at the Vikings’ first preseason game. He was honored by the team and blew the traditional Gjallarhorn before kickoff against the Buffalo Bills.
Before each game, Minnesota has an honorary guest blow the horn, which, according to Norse mythology, signaled the arrival of the gods. Jablonski visited the Vikings in Mankato, Minn., on Wednesday during the team’s final training camp practice. He was invited to blow the Gjallarhorn by linebacker Chad Greenway.
Article continues below ...
“Just blew the horn at the @VikingsFootball game. So cool. #Vikings #showyourhorns,” Jablonksi wrote on his Twitter page (@Jabs_13) during the game.
Jablonski, 16, continues his miraculous recovery from the injury he suffered playing hockey as a sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School. Jablonski was checked from behind and was paralyzed from the neck down.
Doctors told Jablonski he would never walk again, and his head was attached to a halo to prevent any movement in his neck.
He has since gained enough strength in his neck to have the halo removed and has regained function in his arms and hands. He can control his wheelchair unassisted. In late May, he moved his left leg and ankle as well as a finger on his left hand.
“The therapist said it and she acted like it was no big deal. I was like, ‘Wait, say that one again,’ ” Jablonski told FOXSportsNorth.com last month. “I like (the doctors). But still, it’s my goal to prove them wrong.”
He goes through physical therapy five days a week, lasting about three hours each session.
Last week, Jablonski took his biggest step in proving doctors wrong: He crawled with the help of therapists during one of his rehab sessions.