Writer’s Note: This post was written on November 7th, 2011. I wrote this along with another group of writings that I wish to republish.
From the day of the accident there were a lot of injuries and just from one bullet. In detail, the bullet hit the jugular vein on the left side of my neck, which caused a lot of blood loss and probably the reason I blacked out and can’t remember much of it.
At the time, my girlfriend April and her family heard the gun go off from inside the house. She rushed outside after calling my cell phone and getting no answer. At first, she didn’t think anything was wrong until she opened the door and found me slumped over and unconscious. If it wasn’t from her coming outside to check on me I don’t think I’d be here today. With blood all over my shirt and panic everywhere, she put pressure on my neck and called me back to life. After a gasp for air, she realized I was still breathing and fortunately a police sheriff across the street called the ambulance.
Arriving to Detroit Receiving Hospital, the doctor’s reported:
the patient became bradycardic and hypotensive and was immediately taken to the OR for a left neck exploration with ligation of the internal jugular vein, left vertebral artery, thyrocervical trunk and placement of bilateral chest tubes secondary to a pneumothorax. The patient was also found to have a cervical spine fracture, T-1 and T-2 vertebral body fractures. On September 9th, 2009, the patient underwent an open treatment of the T-1 and T-2 vertebral body fractures. A C-7 through C-4 post arthrodesis fusion and C-7 through T-4 posterior segmental instrumentation. The patient underwent bronchoscopy on September 11, 2009 and September 13, 2009, for thick mucous plugs and the patient was found to have Pseudomonas pneumonia and was placed on cefepime. The patient was extubated and the patient became tired and the patient developed respiratory distress again and the patient was taken to the OR for a tracheostomy and a PEG tube placement on September 14, 2009. Currently the patient is awake, alert and oriented with a tracheostomy on the ventilator. The patient admits to pain in his neck. The patient did report that he was unable to feel his lower extremities.
I was in a condition where I could not breathe on my own nor talk for some time. The bullet that caused the damage still lies within my right lung. Not to mention the nerve pain continuously going up and down my body, but I thank God for morphine that got me through the aches and pains. After being in the hospital for so long without being able to swallow any food I lost a lot of weight and being a skinny brother as it is, it didn’t help my situation.
Thanks to the hospital staff, I eventually conquered my breathing problems and got off the machine but with serious fainting spells that I have dealt with since childhood. I later spent two months at RIM (Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan) where they taught and helped me to take more control of my situation—and that I did.
Thanks to the staff at RIM, I was able to support myself in a wheelchair performing physical and occupational therapy daily. To be honest, it was one of the hardest and most stressful things I’ve every done in my life. My athletic background helped me mentally because physically my body was different and not the same. From many sleepless and interrupted nights, my mission stayed glued in my head no matter of the conditions. Every night I was meditating and keeping myself open to what I might have to do to see my way through it because the mission for me was not being confined to a wheelchair, but to carry my wounds on my own two feet. I believe sooner than most that the vision will come to past because from the very beginning of this accident I realized that the power and force that dwells in me will make it possible.