Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Amazing Mr. Hurley

I am fortunate enough to be able to lay claim to the fact that I have known Gabriel Hurley for most of his life. He and Suzanne have been friends seemingly forever. They attended and graduated together from Our Lady of Mount Virgin School right here 'NTSG. A couple of years later, when Gabe was matriculating at St. Joe's High School, he and Chris Bieksha (another OLMV alum), served as volunteer assistants for me when I coached Rob's OLMV 7th/8th grade basketball team. Once upon a lifetime ago, Gabe and his folks lived just around the corner from us. I was apt to find him in the backyard and/or in the kitchen, playing guitar with Rob or hanging with Suz, or blazing past me on his daily run through the neighborhood. I am a notoriously tough grader when it comes to other people's children. Gabe has long been among my favorites - and in the interest of full disclosure his running buddy Chris B. is on that list too.

In the late spring/early summer of 2009 Gabe was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I earn my daily bread attempting to pooh-pooh the significance of injuries that individuals claim to have sustained due to my client's negligence. Based upon what I do to earn my living I do not toss around lightly the term "catastrophic" when discussing one's accident-related injuries. I would not use the term catastrophic to describe the injuries Gabe suffered either.

I would not use it in Gabe's case because catastrophic does not come close to describing them. I like to think that I know a fairly wide array of words - at least in English. I know not of one that paints an accurate picture of Gabe's although "numbing", "life-altering" and "horrific" seem as partially descriptive - and therefore as fatally flawed - as catastrophic.

What happened to Gabe would have killed me. I say that without reservation because I lack the steely spine this young man has displayed without exception in the two-plus years since his accident. Before his accident he was an extremely talented guitar player and his band was just starting to get noticed. He might be better now than he was then. Given that among the injuries he sustained was the complete loss of vision, his chops are not simply excellent they are miraculous.

In the course of the past couple of weeks, people far better at describing such things have written about young Mr. Hurley. One of the articles spoke to his musical prowess. I have to confess that until I read the piece on Gabe and his band, I did not realize that The Aquarian still existed. Talk about your nice surprises.

Even better than the piece regarding his mad guitar-playing skills is one that appears in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's, "Breakthroughs Magazine". To have a full appreciation of just how much this amazing young man has overcome, consider the words of his plastic surgeon Dr. Tushar Patel, "When he arrived both globes (eyes) were ruptured and the tissue in his face was completely destabilized."

And less than two and one-half years after an accident that could have killed him and - were he a lesser man - would have destroyed, it has done neither. Kudos to my young friend for the good press. Every word of praise is deserved. Every one of them has been well-earned.

A truly remarkable young man. One who I am very happy and very privileged to know. One for whom undoubtedly better days lie ahead. And one who - should I ever grow up - I would very much like to be just like.

-AK

9 comments:

Kevo said...

God bless Gabe Hurley

Adam Kenny said...

Well said....

Automotive BDC said...

Gabe is a very good friend of mine. He is an amazing individual in all aspects. I just spent the night hanging out with him. He has a great heart and is loved by many. The man is one of kind and an inspiration to me. I am proud to have him as a friend.

Adam Kenny said...

Thank you for your comment. I agree with everything you said about Gabe. He is an extraordinary man.

Neel said...

What is the name of his band? I cannot find it!

Adam Kenny said...

They were Self Denial and then The New Black. Not sure what they're called now.

Adam Kenny said...

The band's name is now StillFrame

Anonymous said...

Couldn't find any of their content on YouTube. If you could link a video or something I would appreciate it!

Adam Kenny said...

I forwarded your request to Mr. Hurley himself and his response is below:

Www.YouTube.com/lwLimitations
This is my YouTube channel that features some of our songs and videos and will eventually contain videos from my presentations that I give it will be going along my website
..