The first time we planned a visit, we were discharged before he could stop by.
The second time we hoped to meet him was at the Iowa Hawkeye Spring Game. During the tour of the locker room, we found Parker Hesse’s #40 jersey and had our Parker take a picture with it. By the time the players came out to sign autographs, we had already retreated to the press box. Parker was worn out after the morning activities (I even have a picture of him napping in the press box!). On top of that, the weather was cold and rainy and I didn’t want him to get sick. We found the Parker Hesse on the field though and watched him play.
The third time was a charm.
We knew Parker would be admitted for either a skin graft or chemo, so Parker Hesse planned on coming to the hospital to see him during his stay. Unfortunately, Parker needed the skin graft, so I was really hoping that the visit with the other Parker would work out this time. I wasn’t disappointed.
I got a message from him asking our room number and which floor we were on. He said he was bringing some teammates too.
As I was waiting, a bit more impatient and excited than I care to admit, Parker set down his controller after playing FIFA and said, “I’m bored.”
“Well, you’re going to have some visitors here soon” I replied.
He smiled. I had mentioned yesterday that Parker Hesse was going to try to stop by sometime this week.
“The football player?” he asked.
I just returned his smile and said, “Maybe.”
Not even 5 minutes later, I was meeting Parker, Brandon, Sam, and Jake out at the front desk. I thanked them for coming and walked them to Parker’s room. They said it was the first time they had been to the hospital, but you couldn’t tell it. I know some people can get uncomfortable and don’t know what to say, but they acted as though they were right at home.
They joked with Parker, talked about sports and video games, his chemo and the next steps in his treatment. Jake is from the Quad Cities, like us, and went to Davenport Assumption. Parker, Sam, and Brandon are all from Iowa as well. My Parker is quiet and a bit shy, but he had so much fun listening to their stories. He really enjoyed their visit! I couldn’t believe how outstanding they were. They made me so proud to be an Iowa Hawkeye fan. They were humble, down to earth, polite, and all around great guys. They were funny, upbeat, positive, and all had great attitudes. It was just what we needed during this rough week.
I’m so thankful Perry reached out to me and that we could meet his son. I have no doubt he is tremendously proud of his Parker, as are Brandon, Sam, and Jake’s parents. Not only have they raised such amazingly nice guys, they’re obviously incredibly talented too.
Parker, Brandon, Sam, and Jake:
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and visit Parker. It means so much to us that you went out of your way to brighten Parker’s day. With all that he is going through, I can’t even explain how much your visit meant. Because of you, he’s gained even more encouragement to keep fighting, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. We’re now your biggest fans!
Thank you for sharing your son with us. Upon meeting Parker, it was obvious what a great family he comes from. He’s such a remarkable young man. I hope we are able to meet in the future. Who knows, maybe even at a football game where we can all cheer on your Parker! You’re in our thoughts and prayers, and we wish you and your family nothing but the best.
Thanks again, guys! We are so grateful! You make us proud to be Hawkeye fans! GO HAWKS!