Someone You Should Know: Jake Wampler Continuing to Beat the Odds

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- He’s a familiar face to the residents and staff at Good Samaritan Society’s Luther Manor nursing home. Every Tuesday, Jake Wampler helps the clients with bingo. However, before he started volunteering, he had to overcome some challenges.

“From that day, our lives changed forever and Jake’s,” says Jake’s mother Jeanine Perez, as she recalls a memory.

April 2005 is a day Perez will never forget. It’s the day she got a phone call a parent doesn’t want to hear.

“His heart actually stopped for over 10 minutes,” says Perez.

Her son Jake Wampler went into cardiac arrest during football practice at Lincoln High School. Medical personnel were able to get his heart to restart, but he was without oxygen for a certain period.

“I wasn’t prepared for this and I don’t think any parent could be,” says Perez.

Jake suffered a brain injury and as a result, can’t remember much.

“Well, his working memory just isn’t there and that’s why he can’t maintain a job because he can’t remember all the things, that he would need to do,” says Perez.

But all hope wasn’t lost, after coming out of a coma. Jake went through rehab for 2 years.

“He had to learn life all over again, he had to learn how to swallow his food, he had to learn how to walk,” says Perez.

Despite what happened to Jake, he still has the same passion for helping others. For nearly 5 years now, he has been helping the residents at Good Samaritan Society’s Luther Manor nursing home with bingo. Something his mother says has brought his spark back.

“I can always tell when he comes home from their cause he has just a little bit more pep in his steps. I can see it in his eyes, he’s just a little happier,” says Perez.

And the people at the nursing home couldn’t be any happier with him.

“And the attributes that he brings, you know to make bingo more fun for our residents was just truly something, that I would think of,” says Good Samaritan Society’s Community Relations Director Tiffany Geveshausen.

“I’m very fond of this place and to have the volunteers come from outside, it’s really great,” says Luther Manor resident Gwen Casten.

However, the impact he has made hasn’t gone unnoticed. Back in May, he was honored by Helpline Center’s Spirt of Volunteerism Award.  An award that the staff at the nursing home nominated him for.

“To be you know nominated for a category and then be the reward recipient was just amazing,” says Geveshausen.

A man that has faced challenges still continues to beat the odds.

“I’ve always been proud of him, but I’m probably more proud of him now than I ever have in his entire life because he is a fighter,” says Perez.

Jake’s mother says Jake loved school and his goal was to go to college to pursue a degree in the medical field.

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