Hogan, hero: loved colleague returns to The Age

Jesse Hogan returns to The Age Photo: Eddie JimThe Age newsroom is a busy place but for a few minutes on Thursday morning the news could look after itself.

When Jesse Hogan came to see us for the first time in 10 months there was something more important to think about.

To loyal readers of The Age, particularly the sports-mad ones, Jesse’s name would draw them to his stories: detailed, well written and well researched. With plenty of stats.

His name has been missing since he was struck down with a massive stroke at the start of February. It could easily have taken his life.

Survival was more important than recovery at that horrible time, but when he walked back in on Thursday for a visit we could all see how far he has come.

Jesse is still spending lots of time with his speech and occupational therapists as well as a physio and neuropsychologist. He has plenty more work to do.

But he has come an enormous way, in every way. He’s less reliant on his crutch, he’s finding more words and he is living with more independence.

He’ll begin a gym program in the next few weeks, and start building up more strength.

He’s been hanging his mum’s washing out for her, he’s started up a veggie patch, is doing more and more reading and has been keeping a close eye on the Australian cricket team.

His solution: bring in Peter Handscomb.

Many have followed Jesse’s progress through regular catch-ups at his rehab centre and since he has moved back home with his family, but there is nothing like seeing someone back where they belong.

It was, said Jesse, an overwhelming morning, but he was happy to see everyone and the feeling was mutual.

As the legendary John Silvester put it: in a business full of bastards, Jesse Hogan is truly loved.

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