Down, But Not Out

Gene Wessels’ Amazing Story of Survival

Gene Wessels’ physical therapist looks at him and marvels.

“When we first read your report,” she said. “We were amazed you were still breathing.”

Wessels, 88, of West Point, has been amazing people his entire life. He’s a distinguished Korean War vet, but many people in La Grange may know him better as the seemingly ageless tennis player who plays weekly on the courts near the high school – sometimes beating people half his age.

For the last few weeks Wessels has missed his weekly games as he recovers from a near-death experience during which he suffered three broken vertebrae and lay on the bank of the Colorado River clinging to life.

His survival story is a lesson in the strength of will.

It all started Sunday April 30. Wessels went out from his home in the West Point area to watch the cyclists pass by on the second leg of the MS 150 bikeathon. Then he went to part of his property on the bank of the Colorado River to cut some limbs with a pole saw (a lightweight chainsaw attached to a pole).

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Fayette County Record

127 S. Washington St.
P.O. Box 400
La Grange, TX 78945
Ph: (979) 968-3155
Fx: (979) 968-6767