The Star-News


Rehab works but love is better

Sat, Oct 19 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Peña

All of us, will at some time or other, experience that incident that will, a majority of the time, affect us in an indirect manner. Many of us, for example, were glued to our television sets at the time of the terror attacks in New York and Washington D.C. yet we were 3,000 miles out of harm’s way. Though we were remotely involved in that incident we abhor seeing anyone, citizens of anywhere maimed and killed.

Because we are indirectly involved it is easier to get that incident out of mind. We perhaps discuss it with friends or neighbors but before too long it is back to business as usual.

But what if we are not indirectly involved?  What if we were right in the middle of some catastrophe?  What if the incident was so serious that we had been reported as a fatality?  What if, that months later, we were still suffering the results of the incident and were looking forward to some time spent in therapy?

Such was the case of John McCann.  It was in the afternoon of a bright day back in July.  McCann was involved in a two vehicle crash on Otay Lakes Road, not too far from the high school that he had, years ago, attended.  The injuries were so serious that one of the first responders had originally reported it as a fatality.

Most of the folks in the South Bay know, or have heard of John McCann.  He is that young man who has been prominent in South Bay politics.  He has been a member of the Chula Vista City Council, is a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve and has seen active duty in the Near East. Most importantly he is a life-long resident of Chula Vista and is an elected official of the Sweetwater Union High School District.

I spent part of a morning the other day at the McCann’s speaking with first, John alone and then joined by his family.  They have a well-appointed home out in the Salt Creek area on the eastern part of the city.  The view is of the mountain and canyons and gulleys rich with green vegetation.  It, in fact, is the ideal place where one could go for recovery from a life threatening trauma.  And that is exactly what John is doing.  His regimen consists of many hours of rest coupled with periodic visits to those experts who are helping get all parts functioning the way they should.

Although there is little he can do about it one of his concerns seems to be that empty chair at Sweetwater Union High School District’s meetings.

He thinks he has much to offer the district. Part of that daily rest period is, no doubt, spent on various items pertaining to the schools and the maximum way that he and the balance of the board may go about to solve them. He thinks, for example, of the arts, both visual and performing and knows about the vast talent that there is in this field among the many schools in the South Bay.

It was not too many years ago that McCann was personally involved in the arts at his high school, Bonita Vista High, from which he graduated.  While there he was a member of the Music Machine, the group led by Ron Bolles who, for years, entertained various portions of the South By with lilting sounds.  Prior to his accident he had occasion to learn about groups such as that one and also the excellent venues that were there for practice and development at the South Bay’s secondary schools.

I imagine that the technicians who operate those therapy centers have armed themselves with state-of-the-arts instruments and machines and have easy access to the various nostrums that are made for restoring the broken parts of the body to original shape.  I do not mean to demean them in any way.  As I sat in the McCann living room the other day, however, in the midst of family, I think I saw the principal tool that one needs above all others. The support and aid given by family members to the stricken one is immeasurable.  The reason for that, I suspect,  is because they are motivated by love.  And in Myssie his wife, children Kennedy, Grant, Johnny and even Blyss (away at college) John McCann has it.

Get well soon, John.


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