Nearly six years after the attack that changed his life forever, Jessie Simpson is heading home.
Jessie’s mother Sue Simpson is absolutely thrilled that her son will be home on weekends as of May 6.
“It’s been a journey getting him home with COVID-19. He was supposed to come home a few weeks ago for Easter,” Simpson said.
The care facility Jessie currently lives in has had multiple virus outbreaks.
On June 19, 2016, Jessie was beaten into a coma with a metal baseball bat. He was 18 at the time and doctors told Simpson he would likely never return home.
“That was probably the roughest part for us to think that Jessie may never come home,” Simpson said while choking back tears. “But also, I didn’t know if he was going to live. He’s a fighter, my baby.”
Jessie has poor short-term memory and continues to undergo various forms of therapy, but Simpson was excited to announce he no longer needs speech therapy.
“He’s mister chatty pants!”
He is also able to eat and drink on his own, is regaining use of his left side following a stroke, and never lost his sense of humour.
Simpson has dedicated her life to caring for Jessie since the attack, including renovations to ensure her house is comfortable for Jessie and wheelchair-accessible.
“I’m a nurse now for Jessie. That’s what I will be on the weekends.”
Simpson is a single mom and says Jessie will spend weekdays in the care home while she works full-time cleaning houses.
Simpson is ready and eager to have her son back in his old bedroom.
“I think bringing Jessie home is going to be a lot better for his health, especially with COVID… but also for quality of life.”
Jessie is constantly at risk of infection or heart attack.
“There’s a huge shortage in healthcare right now, that’s another reason I want to bring Jessie home,” Simpson said with a discouraged tone. “A few times I’ve walked in and his T.V. is off and he is still in his chair with nobody around and he’s been there for a few hours. That’s really heartbreaking to see your son that way.”
His homecoming is just in time for his birthday. Jessie turns 25 on July 26.
Simpson said they will host a welcome home and birthday party for her son at that time and once again is asking people to send in cards to PO Box 233 Savona, B.C. V0K 2J0.
“So many people have almost, like, adopted Jessie. I’d say 80 per cent of Kamloops knows who Jessie is, knows his story, and it hit their heart.”
The GoFundMe page to support Jessie and his family remains active and donations continue to come in to assist with medical and travel costs.
Simpson expressed her gratitude for all those who have supported them, saying Jessie wouldn’t be where he is today without the community that rallied around them.
After Jessie’s homecoming, Simpson commented that she is considering writing a book about her experience. She also plans to start a new petition believing Jessie’s attacker didn’t get the sentence he deserved.
Kristopher Teichrieb pleaded guilty in 2018 to aggravated assault and was handed a seven-year prison sentence. Teichrieb was also ordered in February 2021 to pay $6.9 million in damages to Jessie.
“I want to be with (Jessie). I want to spend every moment with him because I never know when it’s going to be his last.”