FedEx shooting victim to undergo 26th surgery

Since he was shot last April while working as a FedEx security guard, Christopher Sparkman has undergone 25 surgeries. He’s got one more to go, and he’s saved this biggest one for last.

Surgery No. 26, scheduled to take place this month, is one that will literally put the pieces back together for Sparkman — not that he was ever broken. Instead, he’s made it through the nearly 10-month ordeal with his wife, Jamie Lynn, at his side, and their unwavering faith.

“This year has been sorrowfully sweet, and we both have been pushed to new limits over and over again,” Jamie Lynn wrote in a blog about her husband. “We have laughed, we have cried, and we have grown so much in our situation.”

On April 29, Christopher was working at the FedEx facility near Kennesaw when he was shot multiple times at point-blank range by 19-year-old Geddy Kramer. Five others were also injured, but his injuries were the most severe. Christopher underwent several surgeries before being released from the hospital in July.

The Sparkmans were still newlyweds when, in an instant, their lives changed forever. While in the hospital, Christopher even schemed with nurses to plan an anniversary surprise for Jamie Lynn.

“He had all of it planned in his mind,” Kevin Rhodeback, a Kennestone nurse, said in August. “He even knew what kind of cake he wanted.”

In August, the Sparkmans returned to the hospital to thank the medical staff and those who offered prayers. The couple said they weren’t angry at what happened.

“We don’t feel like we were picked on,” Jamie Lynn said. “We feel like we were picked out.”

The drive to keep healing, even through setbacks, has been dubbed “Sparkman Strong” by those who continue to follow the couple’s journey.

“Our goal was to keep living,” Jamie Lynn wrote. “We pushed each other to enjoy life, regardless of the side-steps of this season that we have woken up in. This was our second year of marriage, and we lived it to the best that we could.”

And for the next surgery, which involves several doctors and will last up to 12 hours, the prayers and encouragement are needed more than ever. After the surgery, Christopher is expected to remain in the hospital another month.

Because neither of the Sparkmans have been able to work since the shooting, those wishing to help can donate through the couple’s website, sparkmanstrong.blogspot.com. Jamie Lynn plans to post updates to the blog after her husband’s next surgery.

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