Wind the clocks back, eleven years. It’s late September, way back in 2004. A young Swiss guy, Roger Federer, is 23 years old and fresh off winning his third grand slam of the year, fourth overall. On December 12 of that year, Jesus Aparicio, a huge Federer fan (welcome to the club), was in a severe car accident while out celebrating his 18th birthday. The incident left the Seville native in a coma, which he did not wake from until August 27.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger.”
When he did awake, he called out to his mother. Over the past few weeks he has been asking about his family, friends, and current affairs. Learning slowly but steadily, while his speech is recovering as well. He also asked about his idol, Roger Federer.
“It came like a flash to my mind and I asked about Roger,” Aparicio said. “I thought he had retired. When I knew that at 34 years old, he is still playing and is number two in the world, I thought they were kidding me. I could not believe it.”
“When I heard that he reached 17 slam titles, I put my hands on my face…I knew Federer was very good but I never thought he could win all he has won.” Federer would ascend to his era of dominance, reaching 10 of the next 12 grand slams, breaking numerous records in tennis history.
“I was astonished to see him play well. It’s really amazing,” Aparicio said. Prior to the car accident, Jesus had been saving to watch Federer at Wimbledon. Now coming up on his 29th birthday, he still hopes for the chance to see his idol. “I want to see his match before he retires, perhaps his 18th slam,” Aparicio said. “It would be the dream of my life.”
Never giving up hope, Rosario believed she would see the day that her son would wake. “It was a very hard blow for everyone but we never stopped believing this day would come,” Rosario said. “Every night I spoke in his ear and told him I was there with him.”