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DES MOINES, Iowa — The harrowing journey has provided inspiration.

“Just trying to stay hopeful when you are in the middle of a wind storm that you are gonna see a sunny day again,” said Sadie Lage.

The recovery process has showed determination.

“He’s in there and he’s fighting and I don’t think he’ll stop fighting until he gets to a point where he’s back to what he was before,” she said.

Positive results have yielded motivation.

“Yesterday he said ‘I love you,’ for the first time. Actually verbalized it,” Sadie said.

Whatever you call it, the progress made by Greg Lage has been a bit of a miracle, just one month after a horrific single bicycle crash on October 1 sent him to the MercyOne Neuro Trauma ICU and a three week coma.

“He’s surprising us but he’s also surprised some of the medical professionals with how far he’s come in a short amount of time,” said Sadie, who is Greg’s oldest daughter.

Overwhelming community support through meals, prayer, positive messages and yard cleanup have all allowed the family to focus on the Ankeny school teacher’s fight to overcome a brain injury he sustained in the fall when his bicycle slipped on gravel.

“We are at the point talking about him getting into a rehab facility which could happen as early as next week,” Sadie said.

Family said another big catalyst for his recovery has been therapy through his favorite pastime of music. That’s why on November 13 the Iowa Tap Room, where Greg bartended once a week, will hold a silent auction with live music to raise money for his medical bills.

“He’s such a community guy. He was so involved in Ankeny and our school growing up,” Sadie said. “I can see he is doing better knowing that community is around him. Having them around is lifting his spirits and helping him a lot too.”

The recovery process is a marathon but on October 26 Sadie’s father was moved from the ICU to the Progressive Care Unit.

“We always tried to keep as much hope as possible but there were days where that was a lot harder,” said Sadie.

She’s now seeing glimpses of more than just hope.

“When he was still in the ICU there was a point where he hadn’t woken up yet and he had pneumonia and an infection. It just seemed like thing on top of thing of bad news and now we are getting the opposite. It’s thing on top of thing and it’s good news,” said Sadie.

As of Tuesday November 1 Greg began to breath on his own. A GoFundMe account set up for the family and medical bills has raised over $68,000.