OCTOBER 31, 1988

Jacob Ansel Haendel was born.



Started drinking and partying recreationally.


Began smoking OxyContin 80 mg pill off of tinfoil.


Graduated from Lincoln Sudbury High School. Began a two-year professional chefs program at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

DECEMBER 1, 2008

Mother, Marjorie Wylen, lost her 10 year battle to cancer.


Working as a chef at the private Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, MA.


Realized there was substance abuse problem. OxyContin became tamper-proof and heroin more prevalent.


Introduced to smoking heroin.

APRIL 2017

Noticed a slight variation in speech an some issues with balance.

MAY 20, 2017

Arrested in Shrewbury, MA for possession of a Class A substance, marked lanes violation, speeding in violation of special regulation, and possession of a Class B substance.

MAY 24, 2017

Admitted to the UMass Memorial University Campus Emergency Department with stroke-like symptoms.

MAY 25, 2017

Diagnosed with a terminal disease, Toxic Acute Progressive Leukoencephalopathy.

DECEMBER 20, 2017

Expected to expire before the New Year. Beginning of Locked-In Syndrome. Hospice began in January 2018 with comfort measures only.


Survived 6 months of home hospice. Sent to MassGeneral Hospital. Fully Locked-In, Could hear healthcare workers saying they did not know what to do with me. Stuck in purgatory between death and life.

JULY 4, 2018

Doctors noticed a minor movement in right wrist. Within the same week, began to have control over blinking. Within 2 weeks, began non-verbal communication with a letter board.


Sent to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown Massachusetts, a premier rehabilitation hospital, one of the best in the world. Began working with more non-verbal communication devices like the Megabee.


Began making large gains in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology. While non-verbal, began learning diaphragmatic breathing, the foundation of learning to produce sound.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Transferred to Western Massachusetts Hospital, slowly began learning to speak again.

APRIL 8, 2020

Tested positive for COVID-19. Recovered in about 5 days. Continued to work on speech, physical, and occupational therapy. Doctors are amazed at my persistent, ongoing progress in all areas of my recovery.

JUNE 2, 2020

JULY 4, 2020

NOVEMBER 17, 2020

DECEMBER 1, 2020

JANUARY 20, 2021

JANUARY 23, 2021

YouTube channel hits 1,000 subscribers, gaining popularity after Ask Me Anything posts on Reddit.

Moved out of hospitals and into my very own new apartment.

First time standing post surgery

Launched Go Fund Me campagin to help sustain my at-home recovery through the next year.

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