A helping hand: Over $17,000 raised for former Allison-Bristow teacher

John Heim is recovering following an accident. (Submitted photo.)

In the 1980s, John Heim worked as vocal music teacher at Allison-Bristow. He later moved to the Marion and Linn-Mar Districts where he retired from teaching in 2004. In his retirement, he has continued his musical endeavors, working part time as a DJ at local radio station KCCK. He also enjoyed playing music for kids at elementary schools. But around May 15, his life took a very scary turn.

     “He was literally watering a flower in front of my parent’s house, turned to water another flower and tripped over a flower pot,” said daughter Jodee Reed.

     It’s unclear whether he hit his neck on a step or what exactly happened, but Heim couldn’t feel anything except the big toe on his left side. He was rushed by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids and from there was sent to the University of Iowa Hospitals where he spent about a week in the neurological ICU. He had surgery to stabilize his neck and then was on the neurological floor for a little over a week before he was sent to St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids for rehab for about 20 days. He is now in QLI, a long term physical rehab facility for traumatic brain and spinal injuries in Omaha.

     While immediately after the accident Heim could only move a toe below his neck, he is now working to feed himself and can drink his own morning cup of coffee. His daughter said he has a completely sound mind—and he can still sing. The day she talked with the Tribune-Journal, she was planning to take him to a music store to see if he could play a modified bass guitar as many of his recovery goals revolve around music.


Read more in the July 12 edition of the TRIBUNE.