By Kent Larsen
Dallas Missionary Leaves Hospital Beaten but not Broken
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Elder Burke Jensen was released from the Baylor Institute
for Rehabilitation Friday, 2 1/2 weeks after he and his companion were
attacked in a Dallas neighborhood in an apparent robbery attempt. Elder
Jensen still suffers from the attack -- he has blurred vision, slurred
speech and an arm in a sling -- but the attack has not dampened his
enthusiasm nor made him bitter towards his attackers.
In the January 2nd attack, Jensen was hit in the head with a baseball bat.
Doctors at Baylor say his attacker must have used "a full roundhouse swing,"
catching Jensen in the head. The attack left Jensen without the ability to
speak (temporarily) and put him in intensive care.
But since the attack, Jensen has made what his doctors call a remarkable
recovery. Not only has the swelling in his brain come down rapidly, but he
has regained the ability to speak, although haltingly, after just a week of
Elder Jensen has also avoided the anger and bitterness that might be
expected after such an attack. "He's been courageous in all this. He's a
wonderful kid," said his doctor, Mary Carlisle. "I have to watch when I go
into his room in the morning that I don't interrupt his Bible study. He's
Still, the attack is on his mind, as can be seen from the responses he gave
during a recent therapy session attended by Dallas Morning News reporter
Flick. Asked to complete the sentence "I need my ... " Jensen responded,
"health." And when asked to state a wish, he said, "I wish people would
treat each other better." But this is more in response to what he has been
told and to his treatment, since Jensen says he doesn't remember the attack.
Elder Jensen's parents came to Dallas following the attack, and were happy
to see that he is doing so well. His mother, Joy, was philosophical about
his returning to missionary work this past Saturday, "Whenever you send a
child out in the world, you're always concerned, but we're not afraid this
will happen again. These kinds of things are rare." Joy Jensen, and her
husband Jack, also expressed their gratitude for the support that they have
received from the Dallas community, "The majority of people we've met have
been good, honest people," said Jack Jensen. "We're going back home with
nothing but good feelings about Dallas, Texas."
Better, not bitter
Dallas TX Morning News 20Jan01 N1
By David Flick: Dallas Morning News