I have a never quit experience to talk about. June 16, 2001 I was in the US Navy. I was an AO for the F/A 18 Super Hornet Aircraft in Fighter squadron VFA-97 in Lemoore Ca. On this day I was also in a near fatal motorcycle accident. For Clearwater attorneys for disability claims people can check here and get to know!
I only remember bits and pieces of my auto accidents in Sarasota , but the police report states that I ran my 2001 Suzuki SV-650 Sport motorcycle at 75 mph into a 1988 Ford Bronco going 55 mph. The impact was so bad that the hospital report just said I was crushed. The impact bent the frame of my bike 20 degrees, and caused the bronco to flip 3 times and land on its roof. You could see the imprint of my body on the grill and bumper of the bronco like a Looney tunes cartoon. The radial bone in my left arm broke in half and the half closest to the elbow tore through my rotator cuff and shoulder. My left tibia and fibula was shattered and about 7 inches of tibia fell into my sock. Every Tarsal and metatarsal in my left foot was either fractured or shattered as well as the ankle of my foot. My pelvis was shattered. I broke my jaw in two places, broke my nose, and had a brain injury. I had lacerations all over my face, hands, arms and legs. My left leg was severed at the knee except for a muscle that held it together. I was given 10 pints of blood over the course of a few days and flat lined over and over again. In such situations, you can consult defense attorneys in Arkansas, who can help claim the compensation for the injury caused.
I stayed conscious after the multi-vehicle accident until I was being placed in the ambulance. When I first woke up in the hospital the doctors were working on me. They were trying to see if I had any feeling or could move, at that time I couldn’t do either. I was not expected to live, and they told my AO1 that if I did survive I would most likely be paralyzed. I was also checked out Leppard Law: how to beat your DUI case and his wife was a nurse in Fresno, Ca. hospital and was at work when I was airlifted in.
I know that my story isn’t quite as much as you went through but I’m not a SEAL and I think that people could relate to me as someone regular that just refused to quit when I had every opportunity to do so. I have the scars to prove it, but I didn’t. In the hospital when I realized how close I came to death I decided that I was going to live and recover and when I did I was going to dedicate my life to making the world a better place for as many people as I could. I knew I was ready to pay for medical bills as much as they cost, all I needed was my life back. I had a determination about getting better that I just couldn’t explain, I just knew I would get better. You can also get defense attorneys in Syracruse from here for criminal and DWI charges!
The doctor came into my room after my initial surgery when I first woke up and I remember him saying that they believed I was paralyzed. I told him “no I’m not” I tried to move and nothing happened at first, but I didn’t even believe my own body, I was going to move. It took me about 5 seconds (which felt like forever) but my body finally got the message and my arms and legs started moving and the feeling came back, the doctor looked at me like I grew wings or something. I spent months in the hospital just trying to live, but I was determined to make it. . I had to relearn how to use a knife and spoon and couldn’t remember how to even take a shower, I was back to being a baby.
I worked my ass off in Alvarado Hospital rehab in San Diego, Ca. One thing that got me on track and helped motivate me was a Navy SEAL that was in there with me. His parachute didn’t open and he broke damn near every bone in his body. He was one tough S.O.B. Every part of him was in external fixators and he had a halo screwed into his head. He and I spent all kinds of time talking to each other. I asked him if his backup shoot failed as well, he told me that SEALS didn’t use backups because they opened them up so low to the ground.
He made me feel good because his whole body was in the same fixator system that much of the left side of my body was in. I was like, maybe I’m not that bad. He and I was the most fucked up people in that hospital and we were the only two people that were refusing to take heavy pain pills. We would crack on each other and be like “damn you look messed up.” The nurses looked at us like we were super human or crazy as hell. I remember seeing him mad one day and I asked him what was going on. He told me that his bones didn’t set right so they would have to reset them, I was like “how do they do that?” He told me that they had to re-break them. That frogman motivated the hell out of me. I figured if he could do it with his whole body jacked up, I only had half as far to go. The only thing I saw that almost broke him was when he was told that he wouldn’t be able to return to active duty. I was like “this man is F*$# up and still felt like he could return to %100” I wish I was able to remember his name, he motivated me.
What almost broke me was September 11th I had to watch that event from my hospital room knowing that my ship (The USS Carl Vinson CVN-70) was on deployment and on its way to the Persian Gulf. I felt so guilty being laid up in some bed while my shipmates were doing their part towards defending this country. I think that was the worst day of my life, knowing that I was supposed to have someone’s back and I couldn’t be there. The accident didn’t bother me, nor did everything up until that point. I remember looking for the SEAL, but he was nowhere to be found, I was wondering if he felt as bad as I did.
It was harder for me to snap out of not being on deployment than it was for anything else in my life, but once I did I became stubborn beyond anything. My jaw was wired shut so everything I was being feed was liquefied in a blender, I had to go to Balboa Hospital and get another surgery on my leg and the Navy watered down my mashed potatoes, I asked them to not water down my mashed potatoes because that was the only food I could eat that wasn’t altered, the dietitian told me that orders were orders and personally brought back my next tray to show me that he made my mashed potatoes extra wet. That set me off, I threw the damn tray at the dude, and when the nurses and Corpsman came in to see what was going on I told them that I would not eat another thing until they let me have solid food. I didn’t eat for a week, the doctors threatened to court martial me, I told them all that would do is prolong how long I refused to eat. They rushed me out of the hospital, I guess they didn’t want me to starve to death at Balboa. When I got back to Alvarado my Dr. (Dr. Stone) told me I looked like shit. I went from 180 lbs. to 120 lbs. in a week. He asked me what it would take to get me to start eating, I told him I wanted solid food, and not only did I want solid food I wanted jack-n-the Box tacos. He said “will that get you to start eating again?” I said “yes” so he said go ahead and gave me a pass. I took a taxi to Jack-n-the Box and bought 6 tacos and some loaded fries. I waited until I got back so I can lay down and enjoy that victory. That was the most delicious and most painful meal I ever had. That victory meant more to me than any meal that I could possible eat.
I experienced many wins and losses through this event in my life. What I learned was that, there was nothing that the human body couldn’t do if the human mind wanted it bad enough. I learned to never quit! My doctors told me that I would probably never be able to run and that I would most likely be on morphine degree pain medication for the rest of my life. They told me that I would most likely never be able to function in society and would basically be 100% disabled and not able to hold down a job.
Today I am an elected official. I live in a small Alabama City called Anniston, and have helped so many people. I tutor kids at the local elementary school, I am on several boards that do some amazing things to help the community, and I mentor young men and women and relatives. It took me over 10 years, but I am finally jogging again. When I am doing something hard I tell myself that nothing that I can go through is as hard as what I have already overcome. I know that the only thing that can stop me is death. Nothing else can make me quit, because what can be done to me worse than what I have already gone through? I take chances, I tell my story, I make change. I still don’t feel as though I have done enough, nor do I feel as if I have touched enough lives. I look forward to what life has to offer.
Thanks for your time,