Wayne Messmer, Cubs national anthem singer, shot in neck 25 years ago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tuesday marks 25 years since Wayne Messmer's life changed forever.

In the early morning of April 9, 1994, the popular singer best known for singing the national anthem before the Chicago Cubs games was shot in the neck as he was leaving a restaurant on Taylor Street. A 15-year-old boy had approached him and even though Messmer made it to his vehicle, the boy fired a shot through the driver-side window.

While Messmer was able to recover from the gunshot wound, he was unable to speak. Doctors were unsure if he would ever regain his voice.

Messmer, who makes his living with his voice, said it was the darkest day of his life. His vocal cord was paralyzed by the shooting. He was in a coma for almost three days.

But nearly six months later, not only did he defy doctor's expectations by regaining his speaking voice, but he was able to sing the national anthem once again for the inaugural game for the Chicago Wolves hockey team.

Messmer commemorated the anniversary of the shooting by speaking to the Chicago Rotary club on Tuesday, recounting the story. He said he is grateful and blessed, and wants to share the story with all who will listen.
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