Scurry-Rosser HS coach Mark Bachtel and his family are convinced that he is living proof of the power of prayer -- home for the holidays and planning meals with his wife Betty and grandchildren.
The freak sideline injury Mark Bachtel refuses to concede defeat to was suffered late in a game between Scurry Rosser and Malakoff September 25. After the opposing team's quarterback was knocked out of bounds, players from both teams collided with Bachtel and the back of his head hit concrete.
An air ambulance helicopter had to land on the field so he could get medical treatment.
Two nights later, nearly 200 people from all over the area gathered on the field to pray for the beloved coach and his family.
Mark's son Jason is head coach at Scurry Rosser. Mark Bachtel was assisting on the night he was injured so badly that doctors had serious doubts about whether he would make it. He was in a coma for 5 weeks and hospitalized for 56 days.
Mark communicates now mostly through questions written on a white board.
"What do you want to say to all this who have been praying for you? That's why I am here. Because I have been totally blessed,” Mark Bachtel said.
He's at least temporarily lost his hearing, sight in his left eye, which causes balance problems. But he's battling back -- released from the hospital more than a week earlier than doctors expected. He now does outpatient rehab every day.
"I want to be able to walk normal. Normal as I can,” Mark Bachtel said. “I want to recover my hearing.”