Ian Hoy, Gillette Children’s Hospital

I had the great honor of meeting a young man who is quite inspirational. His name is Ian Hoy. 3 years ago, Ian was hit by a car in the crosswalk of a busy intersection in my hometown, St. Cloud Minnesota.

I was asked to come celebrate with Gillette Children’s Hospital and the Hoy family because Ian has a very special trip coming up. He will be traveling to Washington D.C. and Florida for the 25th anniversary of Gillette as a 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Champion. Ian and a few other Gillette patients will be speaking to congressional leaders and Gillette supporters about his personal story and how much Gillette has helped he and his family.

During our celebration for Ian, his mom said, “I never knew Gillette was there. I never knew how much they would help us. Gillette has changed our lives. They gave us our son back.” After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Ian was in a coma for three weeks. His family was unsure if he would ever wake up. Luckily, Ian is one tough kid. After coming out of a coma, he could no longer speak, walk, or swallow.

This was hard to imagine as I looked at a young man who stood tall and proud, shaking hands, taking photos, and enjoying a big piece of cake. “Ian has a wicked sense of humor, and I think that had a lot to do with his attitude and recovery,” said father Hoy. “But without the help and support from Gillette, we may have lost our son forever. He is still recovering, but there has been huge progress so far.”

I spoke with Ian’s mother about how the injury has affected his cognitive thinking and functioning. She said, “Well, we keep finding new issues and problems. Lately, he has been very sensitive to heat. If he gets too hot, he could fall back into a coma. We had to install a central air system to keep our house cool and our son safe. He can’t go outside in extreme heat so traveling to Florida will be interesting!

He also can’t do more than one thing at once. Literally, he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time!” Now, I thought that was true for all men, but for Ian it is really hard. He has to think about moving his feet. So, if he were chewing gum or eating an apple, he would have to concentrate so hard on moving his feet that he couldn’t take a bit of his apple. These little tasks and daily activities we all take for granted are the things Ian struggles with everyday.

He is making progress slowly but surly and we are all very proud of him! Ian’s family was presented with a Minnesota Twins package and a $500 Sam’s Club gift card. The family was very grateful and humble and I felt so blessed to share this day of celebration with them.

Read more about Ian and his journey here:

All my love,

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012


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