Paralyzed Guitarrist Plays On

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

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Jason Becker is a former rock star who has continued a brilliant music career against all odds. Doctors were ready to give up on him, but he’s still going strong.

Jason can no longer speak or move his body, but he remains a brilliant composer with a legion of fans and a latest CD which came out in 2008

Jason’s musical odyssey began when he was just five and got his first guitar. By the time he was 13, he could play note for note with Eric Clapton recordings. By 17, he had a record deal of his own.

By the late 1980′s, Jason was one of the most critically acclaimed rock guitarists in the world.

In 1990, Jason was lead guitarist and helped write David Lee Roth’s gold record “A Little Ain’t Enough.”

That same year, when Jason was just 19, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a neuromuscular condition that slowly took away Jason’s ability to control his body.

When Jason could no longer play guitar, he began composing on a keyboard. When he could no longer move his hands, he used a computer. He had a special visor with a sensor on top that moved the cursor on the screen. When Jason opened his mouth, his chin clicked the mouse. But as Jason’s health got worse, he lost the ability to speak and even to move his head.

His father, Gary Becker, then devised a communication system using an alphabet board and simple eye movements so Jason could spell out his thoughts with his eyes. His family and friends learned to interpret.

Jason is a very inspiring man, even with all his difficulties he still loves life and finds ways to have a fulfilling life. 

Below is an excerpt of his story in his own words.

1997

“One particular event in the hospital changed my life. I hadn’t slept for well over 36 hours. Every hour or two a nurse came in to stick a tube down my throat to suction out mucous from my lungs. This made me violently cough which made my groin unbearably painful. I felt that one more suction would literally kill me. I prayed to God very sincerely to not let me die without knowing the point of it all and learning more about Him.

This night at 4:00 AM, my girlfriend was too exhausted to wake up. The nurse who then came in knew I was frantically trying to say no to suction, but she said, “I am just doing my job.” She wouldn’t wake my girlfriend up. When she finally left I lay in the dark feeling raped. I felt the life start to leave my body. My eyes were open but I couldn’t even tense one muscle. I started to black out. All at once I heard distant voices of people I love. After all this hellish fear and confusion, the good stuff began.

While I was still dying, I heard the OM. I felt I was being cradled by something familiar. In one silly vibration – such power, love, infinite wisdom, everything to be known and felt if only I could comprehend one tiny piece of its all-encompassing perfection. During these most blissful moments of my life, something in my heart said, “Lord, I am not ready to go”. Instantly I felt life coming back to my body. My eyes were uncontrollably lifted to gaze in my forehead. Without a body, clearer than “life”, I went through a door with an eye on it. I believe God was showing me “heaven”. It was my idea of a perfect place.

Whatever I thought was effortlessly manifest. In my mind I created a guitar and hands to play it. From my mind effortlessly flowed the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Before I even thought of the next perfect phrase it would flow into the ears. I think God was showing me the human potential. We work so hard but if we surrender to God there is no limit to our capabilities. After God was finished trying to teach something to this egotistic knucklehead, my eyes fell back down to my girlfriend sleeping on a cot in the hospital. As I slowly gathered myself and realized the incredible blessing I had received, I felt only love. I tried to remember anger and pain but they were all gone. When the nurse came back and my girlfriend woke up, a glow filled the room. We all could only smile. We all became good friends and talked a lot. From then on I made many nurse and doctor friends.”

For more information on Jason go to his website http://12.189.211.71/

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