October 22, 2007
Michael was in a single car accident on I66 at exit 66 at 3:20 AM October 21, 2007. He veered off the road and hit an exit sign, launching him into the air. The front wheels hit the guardrail and caused the vehicle to do a complete flip, landing on the front two wheels, head-on, into a tree. Mike suffered major head trauma and a massive laceration on the right side of his head, resulting in severe brain injury. There is a four inch laceration located in the occipital area of the back of his head and an injury in the T1-T4 areas of his back. They report no internal injuries or broken bones.
Nate wanted to set this site up to allow everyone that cares about Mike to express their feelings and to keep people informed on Mike’s recovery progress.
TODAY – Updates are random these days. The need for medical updates are gone but there are still updates worth posting none the less. From those early days when there was a need to post progress and updates several times a day from INOVA Fairfax Hospital, to the days of updating from “the room with a view” at Mount Vernon Rehab, to now when we post Michael’s progress and recovery from home.
Michael suffered such an injury to his brain that the medical community dared not give us hope for his survival, much less hope for recovery. Inside this blog you’ll find a long string of comments from friends as the news of Michael’s accident got out. The impact of possibly losing one of their own was huge, the emotion was real and relevant to their own lives. You’ll read medical updates from Mike’s step-dad and then one day, when he had to go out of town, he asked me to do the updates. I didn’t want to. I could barely speak to anyone, the last thing I wanted to do was have to put Michael’s condition in writing. The day I started posting the updates, was probably the last day this blog ever got just a medical update. I speak from the only place I know; from my heart (although sometimes feels like from the gut) and it isn’t always pretty. You’ll find posts from Mike’s brother Nate and some from Mike himself. The first I will never forget “Hello World”.
If you are new to the site and would like to see where it all began start with October ’07. This blog has changed over time. We lost many comments, all of the posts “from dad’s corner”, we lost the slideshow video (working to find a way to put it back). What we’ve gained though through this site can not be measured. Nate and Jim set up this site knowing that one day it would link Mike to what he would need most should he recover. An opportunity to put the pieces together. It is time in a bottle. A connection to the past/ the old self meets the new self. Past. Present. Future. Genius! Bravissimo!
Michael’s accident happened because he made the decision to get behind the wheel and drive after spending the evening drinking with friends. He arrived CODE BLUE in the Trauma ICU – non-responsive, in danger of immediate death. Life support machines kept his heart pumping, and his lungs filled with air. We believe it was through prayer and by the grace of God that Michael is here today.
Michael is alive. He survived what doctors said he probably wouldn’t and his recovery thus far has surpassed anything we ever prayed or hoped for. We prayed for his life, we prayed for healing and we NEVER gave up HOPE. Still today, we are Keeping Hope Alive.
This blog follows Michael’s miraculous recovery but not without reminding all of us that in the blink of an eye everything can change. It only takes one bad decision to change your life FOREVER. A brain injury doesn’t ever go away. It doesn’t heal like a broken bone. You don’t get to go back to your old life in a few weeks. Your life and the lives of everyone that cares about you is traumatically altered FOREVER.
Michael reads this blog every day, in fact several times a day. When you are no longer physically connected with old friends, the Internet becomes the room where you get to hang out, where you can laugh, joke, see pics of vacations, weddings, graduations… friends connecting – in a way, it is life as it was. If you follow his progress, or happened to land on the website, if you’re a caregiver, if you are a survivor, or if you’re a friend or family member - please take a moment to say hello. He would love to hear from you. Traumatic brain injury can be a lonely place and as a dear friend quoted tonight ” no act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted” .