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News Update.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Injured toddler on the go

A MONTH INTO his third year, Jordon Henderson of Springfield is beginning to figure out this winter holiday thing. "When he sees Santa, he calls him Christmas," says Jordon's mom, 26-year-old Christena Henderson.

For Christena and her husband, Christian, the best part of Christmas is that their youngest son is healthy and happy.

A year ago July, Jordon climbed out of his crib and fell out of a second-story window, landing on his head on a concrete patio. His parents were told he had a 10 percent chance of survival.

But 17 months and three surgeries later, Jordon is a lively 3-year-old who loves Duck sports teams, music CDs and toy cars and trucks - especially ambulances and firetrucks.

"He's very boy," his mom says.

Jordon still has some lax muscles on the left side of his face, and continues with physical therapy, his mother says. In the past two months, he's also complained of some sharp but brief head pains that doctors are still trying to diagnose.

But overall he's a happy kid "who looks and behaves so normally," says Christena Henderson, who credits prayer and Jordon's willpower as the sources of his recovery.

"He's just a strong guy; I admire him," she says. "He's one of my best friends now. He makes you want to be a better person."

- Jeff Wright

Love story prevails

You might think married life would seem dull after a courtship such as theirs, but Kevin and Clair Wiles say nothing could be further from the truth.

Clair Wiles, formerly Clair Clark, is the North Eugene High School social studies teacher whose students surreptitiously placed a personal ad for her on Kevin Wiles, Bachelor No. 2 from the ad, turned out to be Mr. Right.

After their story appeared in The Register-Guard last April, the couple were catapulted into the national spotlight, landing a two-page spread in People magazine and a satellite interview on NBC's "Today" show. Their wedding a month later, which featured a theatrical re-enactment of their courtship by Clair's students, was a media circus.

The hoopla ended about there, Clair said, and they were more than ready. But the Hollywood agent they hired amid the frenzy is still negotiating with Warner Bros. over movie rights to their story. They're expecting an agreement within a few weeks.

"Whether they're actually going to do something with it, who knows," she said. Profits from the deal would likely be quite modest, she added - hundreds vs. thousands.

Clair, 28, is still at North, where she's active on the site council. Kevin, 33, is still a hydroelectric team leader with Eugene Water & Electric Board.

The biggest uncertainty looming now is whether Clair, a military reservist, will be called to duty in the war on terrorism.

"I've basically been given the same spiel as everyone else: Get your will ready and get your life packed up because you may be called," she said.

"I don't have a problem with it. I would love the opportunity to serve, and I'd rather go than see one of my (reservist) friends with children going."

- Anne Williams

Do you have suggestions for news updates? Contact reporter Jeff Wright with your ideas at 338-2366 or
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Title Annotation:General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 17, 2001
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