Future W&L wrestler begins road to recovery

After being hospitalized for months, J’Mari Lowman is ready for his next chapter and “focused on getting better.”

J’Mari Lowman was released from the hospital about three weeks ago. He is now solely focused on recovery. Photo courtesy of Serinol Lowman, J’Mari’s father.

J’Mari Lowman was released from the hospital about three weeks ago. He is now solely focused on recovery. Photo courtesy of Serinol Lowman, J’Mari’s father.

Jess Kishbaugh

Future Washington and Lee University wrestling team member J’Mari Lowman is beginning  his  road to recovery after months in the hospital.

Lowman, who was accepted to Washington and Lee as part of the class of 2025 but deferred admission, was hospitalized this summer for ulcerative colitis.

The university wrestling team held an online t-shirt drive in September to support Lowman, selling over 600 shirts. They plan to sell more outside of Elrod Commons before Thanksgiving break.

Members of the Washington and Lee wrestling team came up with the idea for the drive after  stumbling across a GoFundMe page made for Lowman by his high school wrestling coach’s wife.

As of Oct. 24, the GoFundMe has raised $23,473.

Despite his hospitalization, Lowman never lost his positive attitude and just focused on getting better, said Serinol Lowman, J’Mari’s father.

Even after surgeries, one that included having his colon removed, J’Mari persevered.

“He went through a whole lot of pain and he never blinked,” Serinol Lowman said. “He dealt with it. And they proclaimed us the best father-son team that the hospital has ever had. He never complained about anything.”

But that’s how he has always been, Serinol Lowman said. As a child, J’Mari wanted to play a sport, but his father said he wouldn’t let him unless he learned to read music first.

So, J’Mari learned to play guitar. Then, he was allowed to begin wrestling.

From there, J’Mari’s wrestling career took off. He won the Rhode Island state wrestling competition for his weight class and eventually committed to wrestle at Washington and Lee. But he still stays humble.

“I’m a pretty boring person,” J’Mari  said. “My day consists of doing school, lifting, wrestling, homework, sleep. I don’t really do too much.”

Upon getting hospitalized, Serinol Lowman immediately began focusing on recovery. He

told J’Mari that they would stay in the hospital for as long as was necessary, which ended up being over two months.

Finally, after a diagnosis of severe ulcerative colitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, J’Mari was released from the hospital about three weeks ago to recover. 

After a brief stay in the Ronald McDonald House nearby, he returned home.

“I feel like that was just a chapter of my life and right now I’m doing great. I don’t even remember me being in the hospital,”  J’Mari said.

J’Mari said he is completely focused on getting better.

“I lost all my muscle and stuff, so right now I’m focused on recovering,” he said. “It was hard, a lot of struggles, but I’m here now. I’m feeling great, so I don’t have any worries.”

Even while in the hospital, J’Mari knew that someday this chapter would be behind him.

“If you can wrestle, you can do anything.” J’Mari told his father. “Even handle this.”