This Is The Story Of How The PassionPen Came To Be. It Is The Story Of My Journey To The Afterlife And Back. A Story Of Pain And Suffering. A Story Of Fear And Faith. A Story Of Life And Death. A Story Of Love And Compassion. Most Importantly A Story Of Hope For Each One Of Us.
My Name Is Jack. I Was Born In Laredo, Texas. I’m A Native American, Scottish, Latino Mix. LOL, I’m A Mutt. My Father Is An Air Force Fighter Pilot And My Mother Is A Registered Nurse RN. While Growing Up We Move Frequently Around The U.S. And Abroad. My Father Is Non-Denominational And My Mother A Catholic. I Was Raised A Catholic And I Too Served In The Air Force As A Pilot And Now Make A Living As A Professional Contract Pilot.
On May 29th, 2009 I was hired to fly a backcountry bush plane from Ogden airport to Anchorage Alaska. Unbeknownst to me the owner had been using car gas (illegal) in his airplane. On takeoff at approximately 9 A.M. and 1000 feet AGL, the engine “vapor locked” and quit. After several restart attempts I shut all aircraft systems off and maneuvered the aircraft for landing to a nearby field. While gliding the nose was unresponsive to my up and down pitch changes. The plane continued down in what soon became a steep dive angle and violently crashed. I instantly found myself in what felt like traveling through a lightning bolt and then BAM… I was in the “WHITE ROOM!!”
I thought this was NOT a good place to be. As the realization of being DEAD set in, I found myself in a state of multiple emotions and panic. I was shocked, confused, afraid, fearful, bewildered, astonished, angry, amazed, freaked out, overjoyed, and then again majorly freaked out and scared. All at the same time ! About this time (time being irrelevant) I heard a voice unlike any other voice I’ve ever heard neither being male or female but very powerful. This voice reassuringly commanded me to “RELAX”. As I relaxed, an indescribable feeling of pure love and joy overwhelmed my being as I surrendered to my personal moment of death. I calmed to my surroundings I noticed how brilliantly white the room seemed to be. I noticed it wasn’t a room at all and it wasn’t just pure white. It seemed to actually be a pure very brilliant sparkling all surrounding light. I received the powerful awareness and understanding that I too was a part of this light. This all was beyond words and extremely overwhelming. Till the realization of being dead, of no longer having a body or a life, of no longer being with my family and friends, then my panic, fear, and my anger came vigorously rushing forward. Again the voice spoke, “Relax, everything is as should be.” I relaxed and let go to the light and my feelings of immense love and joy came rushing in again. Basking in such positive warm feelings my attention turned to wondering who Is this comforting voice? No sooner had I thought that, the voice in the most loving and caring way answered me saying, “I am whoever you need me to be?” My thought was, “That’s not what I asked, I need you to be who you really are. Who are you, why can’t I see you?” The voice answered, “AS YOU WISH.” Then the brilliant white light surrounding me began to swirl in an energetic almost faint rainbow color with a figure slowly taking form, and out of the light ever so gently appeared Jesus! There are no words to describe this moment (WOW…JESUS CHRIST!) and all I was shown and what it entails, so instead I will describe the result.
There was a pause as my beingness hovered slightly above my body trapped inside the plane wreckage observing myself the wreckage and immediate surroundings. I thought this is going to hurt. I then abruptly re-entered my broken body. I opened my one good eye to find myself mangled in a jagged metal cage which once was the cockpit of my aircraft. I was soaking wet in highly flammable airplane fuel. As I gasped for my first breath I could hear the gurgling sound of air escaping from my lungs. I glanced down at my chest to see two ribs protruding through my blood soaked T-Shirt. White foam and blood oozed out of my torn T-shirt as I breathed. The fuel fumes were overwhelming as they burned my lungs and burned my one good eye creating an intense sense of survival and fire panic to get out now! It was then that a certain calmness overcame me as I could hear Jesus say again, “There will be no fire.” However, being soaked and breathing airplane fuel tends to motivate one no matter what condition they are in to exit the present circumstances immediately and expeditiously. I quickly assessed my physical bodily situation only to determine it was not good. Both my arms rested on my legs which were pushed up high almost into my chest and I squeezed my thighs just above my knees to determine if I had any feeling (meaning my back/spine was not broken) I then heard Jesus again say, “You will make a 100% recovery.” I fumbled with my arms to unlock my seat belt. I got the belt unlocked with much difficulty only to then raise my arms up in front of me and notice that both arms were completely snapped in half between my wrists and elbows and bent 90 degree angles to one another with bones poking through my skin and bleeding. I was amazed that I felt no pain anywhere and that my fingers and hands actually could still work? I thought to myself, now I know what a Praying Mantis must feel like.
For some reason none of this seemed to bother me as my only concern was to get out of the aircraft and not burn up. I looked around in amazement at what was once an airplane. There was hardly anything left of it. I felt like someone had placed me in a large aluminum can and crunched me inside of it. The only way out appeared to be several inches above my head through a small opening which had once been the Plexiglas overhead window on this airplane. With the seat belt removed I placed my one broken arm up through the hole on my elbow and the other on the edge of what was once the seat next to me now scrunched up about neck high. With one quick motion, I pushed up on my elbows and with a sort of twist pushing with my feet and legs, I lifted myself upward and heard the most terrible loud crunching and grinding of bones and felt the most excruciating pain imaginable. My pelvis and hip bones had been completely shattered and detached from my spinal sacrum! OCH !! The pain was overwhelming. I exhaled a gurgling bloody breath and completely surrendered to God. I heard Jesus still with me again say, “Relax.” Shortly thereafter, a man cautiously approached and with a sad face stood over and stared at me and felt my neck for a pulse. I coughed and gurgled another bloody breath and said, “Hello.” He jumped back in amazement and stuttered something incoherent. I gurgled, “I’m fine, please keep away as I’m covered in gasoline.” He backed away saying that an Air-Med flight helicopter was just landing and everything was going to be okay. Little did he know how right he was. Thank You Sir!
My hospital records first entry in the Emergency Room says, “Severe Head Trauma Not Expected to Live.” I spent the next month in ICU in an induced coma on a breathing ventilator for three weeks. In two months in the hospital I underwent three major surgeries for both my arms, pelvis (hips), skull and face. I was in outstanding shape and weighed 175 lbs when the crash happened. From the severe trauma of the crash my body swelled to 265 lbs of fluid and I became one completely blackened mass bruise from impact trauma. My pelvic girdle (hips) had broken completely away from my lower spine sacrum into four sections and each of these were shattered in a total of 36 fractures. As you can see from the x-rays I was pierced back together with two titanium pencil sized bolts in the back and a metal band with multiple screws in the front with two large hinge type screws holding each of my arms together. For two months I was not allowed to move and laid limp on a specially designed big squishy balloon bed. To say all this was a horrible experience is an understatement. I will say that I was blessed with extremely skilled, competent and experienced surgeons, nurses, and staff members at an exceptional hospital. To say I was lucky is also an understatement. It was truly a miracle that I survived.
Now realize recovery. You have not been vertical for 2 months, not able or allowed to move your body. You have a Venacava filter in your artery just below your heart to catch blood clots, you have been feed through a tube, have a catheter inserted in your penis, are fighting massive infection with a collapsed lung, and you may lose your left eye sight and are wearing an eye patch. All while on massive amounts of pain medication both externally, internally and IV. Not to mention the spinal block they have had in your back for the first two weeks after surgery which they then took out for several days but you screamed bloody murder for 48 hours and had a relative (RN Mom) sign a waiver for you to put the spinal tap back in for another week. Very serious matter to leave a spinal block in place that long on either occasion for the very high chance of spinal cord infection. And then after all this time of PAIN, the fun begins, REHAB !!
After the above two months, my last two weeks in the hospital was a busy three times a day of rehab to try and get me to sit up which is really hard to do when you are not allowed to have any weight bearing on your arms, legs, or hips. Three times a day I was first placed on what looks like a small rocket sliced top down to the halfway point and cut out flat so as to make a sort of narrow seat to seat on. They move you sideways from the bed to the half rocket chair thing which is placed next to your bed and strap you in. Your are now laying on your back with legs bent in a sitting position still laying on your back. Then they crank the rocket chair up a degree at a time from horizontal to vertical until you experience pain and scream to stop. They then hold you there for as long as you can stand it and you scream and beg to please put you flat horizontal again. It took five days for me to finally be able to stand the pain of simply being vertical sitting up in this contraption. I weighed 111 lbs when I started rehab and after the rocket chair I was placed in a Hoyer-Hoist sling to be carried to the hospital’s Rehab center and then placed on a rubber mat on my back. I was told my job was to roll over on to my stomach without using my arms or legs. It took several days of three times a day for an hour each for me to accomplish this, and after turning both ways I was told to try and crawl using my elbows. It took another several days to accomplish that, then finally accomplish a sit up and lay back down on the ground and in bed using my elbow only. I was sent home with the Hoyer-Hoist sling still non-weight bearing on my arms, legs, and pelvis with a pair of self made short kids type crutches that were secured with Velcro around my elbows which I designed from the equipment room in the hospital rehab center. These turned out to be extremely helpful for my non-weight bearing limitations for the next several months. Just before leaving the hospital my 14 year old daughter Shanin Blake had wrote her first song and played it for me at the foot of my bed. It was a really great and special song capturing her view and perspective of my crash both for her and members of our community. It’s a really great amazing song and needless to say it brought big tears to my eyes.
Once home, several months of daily in house rehab to sit up and move to a wheelchair type potty chair, as well as biweekly facility rehab. Also I was undergoing intense one on one hand therapy for both my frozen immovable hands. Both arms had been immobilized in special clam shell type fiberglass casts for eight weeks. I had severe nerve damage in both hands with the left being the worst. The intense surgery performed on both arms severely damaged the associated nerves. Unfortunately during this time frame I developed and was diagnosed with a severe Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) which is an extremely debilitating nerve disorder in both arms and hands. I received surgery in one hand to help stop the pain. It did not stop. I regressed and had to stop all rehabilitation therapy. RSD is a chronic condition characterized by severe burning nerve pain sensations. RSD or CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) is incredibly painful and rated the highest level of experienced pain on the McGill Pain Scale as well as all other pain scales. People actually die from the severity of their pain! It is most often appearing in one or both of the extremities, arms, legs, hands or feet. It is not uncommon to resort to amputation as a treatment for relief, if that gives any idea how painful it is.
Even though I knew in my heart as Jesus had told me I’d make a complete recovery, I prayed multiple times daily to God for a MIRACLE and the strength to endure this awful awful severe pain. Then after an intense personal cry for help from me to Jesus, a close chiropractor friend of mine called out of the blue to see how I was doing. He suggested a remedy he tried on himself for his sciatic nerve issue he had suffered from. We brainstormed it and worked out a concoction which worked like the MIRACLE I prayed for!! We perfected it and I used it not only on myself but shared it with other RSD sufferers. Within hours the pain decreased substantially, and in a week’s time I was able to resume my rehabilitation routines till eventually (several months) the pain finally completely stopped. The doctors were surprised at my recovery and asked what I was doing. I explained and gave them some extra I had for another patient who was having a very very rough time with RSD and it miraculously helped her too! I can’t say enough positive about how great this simple recipe works, and I pray for all of you who suffer this terrible horrible debilitating dilemma and I Hope it works for you too! Here is the “Nerve-On-Ahhh” recipe for anyone reading this to use and share with your loved ones or someone you might know who suffers from this terrible horrible pain syndrome:
70% Mineral Spirits
(Fingernail Polish Remover)
20% Pure Aloe Vera
(Moisten Dry Skin)
NOTE: Mix thoroughly well and apply liberally (topically) to follow affected nerves. For first applications soak cheesecloth with solution and drape over affected areas following nerve paths (see associated nerve path charts) and soak skin nerve area for 10-15 minutes. Also, keep a journal of your pain level(s) and note the hours and record the pain time levels drop. When the levels start to rise again re-apply and record. Use your own pain judgement per application and record. God Bless You.
My chiropractor friend Lew theorizes that the mineral spirits absorb into the mitochondria surrounding the damage or irritated nerve(s) and cause the nerve tissue to relax and heal. All I know is it works !! I added the Aloe Vera to moisten the skin from drying, and the DMSO for a quicker and deeper penetration to the nerve. It also works relief wonders on sciatic nerve and neck nerve pain.
My long and painful recovery was brutally agonizing not only for me, but my family as well. During this time of physical healing, I contemplated as an emotional and spiritual healing also took place within myself. Why had I been sent back? What did, “…finish what you started…” mean? What “mission” was Jesus referring to? What did he mean by, “Blessed Hope… for everyone.”?
Then about ten months after the crash my 11 year old son came up to me and gave me a great big hug and said, “Dad I prayed for you everyday for while you were in the hospital and you are still here!” That was a great moment. Then he said, “Dad, when can we finish our Jesus Pen project?” Before the crash we had started this pen project together. In a flash I knew what, “…finish what you started…” and what my “…mission…” was all about!
Prior to the crash, my son had come to me and stated that he wanted to be a businessman when he grew up. I asked why a businessman? He said, “To bring back Hope to the world?” I must admit this was not the answer I expected. So we spent many hours over the next few weeks figuring out: Who we were, Where we were, What we wanted, and Why? Then we decided our goal was to create a simple low cost, low tech idea, that no matter what one’s circumstances this idea would make a person feel good, be useful, and be representative of an individual’s Hope for himself and others.
One night on our back porch as we sat discussing and sketching ideas out for our new business product I accidentally dropped my favorite sketch pen which fell through the floorboards. I cursed loudly and startled my son Calvin who asked what was the matter? I told him and he laughed and ran and got a flashlight. When I told him to crawl under and get it he laughed and said, “You dropped it you get it.” I then crawled under the porch. Lots of spider webs and scary things under the two and a half foot crawl space. As I crawled my way forward I managed to see the pen. Just as I stretched, reaching for it the flashlight died. Another loud curse! Calvin was standing bent over watching me and said he’d go get another flashlight. I said to wait a second and to move aside to let the light from the church steeple behind our house shine under the porch and maybe I could see the pen. He stepped aside and sure enough the light from the steeple lit up the pen and I quickly grabbed it and scurried out from under the porch.
Smiling, I turned and held the pen up to the steeple light which happens to have a cross at the top. With the pen now superimposed over the lighted cross, we both looked at each other in amazement and well you guessed it, the PassionPen was born. We both sketched our ideas of how the Pen should look and the next day we started making one in Grandpa’s workshop. Over the next number of years we have worked slowly and methodically on our idea and business plan. We first called it the Jesus Pen, then the Cross Pen, and then finally, the Passion Pen! We both have grown and learned a lot. What have I learned from all of this? I have learned the difference between the Absolute Truth, Objective Truth, and Subjective Truth. More importantly I now spiritually have a clear understanding of each of these truths and how they apply to myself, my family, and those around me.
So Now You Know The Story Of How The PassionPen Came To Be. It Is The Story Of My Journey To The Afterlife And Back. A Story Of Pain And Suffering. A Story Of Fear And Faith. A Story Of Life And Death. A Story Of Love And Compassion. Most Importantly A Story Of Hope For Each One Of Us.
I Hope you all enjoyed hearing about how this wonderful unique PassionPen came to be. I am sure you will enjoy your PassionPen and have your own unique and personal writing experiences with it for years to come. Please be sure to visit us at PassionPen.us and share your PassionPen experiences with us as we have shared ours with you. I truly feel “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword” and that together with passion we can make a difference in this crazy beautiful world we are born to live and die in.
God Bless You !
Jack and Calvin