It was back in 1994 that I was a strong 17 year old boy who had the world in the palm of my hands!
In other words. . .
I was the most successful running-back on any high school football team in my home county
I was a center-fielder for one of the Baltimore Orioles’ semi-pro baseball teams
I played baseball for the Babe Ruth League
I ran track
I also played basketball for my high school
It was in the middle of June in 1994 that I had been summoned to appear in court to serve trial for 8 tickets or traffic violations.
My friends & I knew that I would most likely lose my driver's license for a long time so we all decided to throw a party in honor of my supposed ‘last night with a license’.
Reportedly, I was up all night having fun at this party and tried to drive home at about 4:30 the next morning.
I guess I made the drive successfully up to about the last mile before my parent's house when I fell asleep behind the wheel.
It was just my luck that I fell asleep at the top of a big hill with a long, downward straight-away because my foot relaxed on the accelerator and caused my car's speed to climb to about 80 mph (miles per hour) before I drifted off the left shoulder of the road.
My front left tire then dropped down into a ditch and smashed into a culvert pipe that ran under a driveway.
This culvert pipe caused my car to be violently thrown up in the air, flipping end-over-end at 80 mph and then landing on it's roof in the next driveway.
Luckily for me, the man who owned the driveway with the pipe my car had smashed into was awake and he heard the horrific sound. The man was then able to quickly dial the national emergency number or 9-1-1.
When the EMT (Emergency Medical Team) arrived on the scene, the head nurse radioed the local hospital to ask the advice of the doctor-on-duty. She was told that, ‘It sounds like the boy will either die or be a paraplegic for the rest of his life, stop CPR!'
It was in my favor that even though that head nurse didn't know me personally, she knew of me through a friendship she had with my mother and she refused to stop giving me CPR!
That same head nurse was also faced with yet another tough decision!
She was forced to decide whether or not to radio for the ambulance - which would only take me back to the same hospital that had just recommended she let me die - or to radio for the Medi-Vac Chopper to fly all the way up from the heart of Baltimore to Cecil County just to transport me all the way back.
I'm not sure how she did it or what led her to make the decision she made but that head nurse chose to radio for the Medi-Vac Chopper!
As hard as it was to believe that a head nurse would take the chance of waiting for a chopper to fly that distance to get me, it was even more unbelievable that the Medi-Vac Chopper was already airborne and on its’ way to a medical show in the nearby state of Delaware, placing it about 20 seconds from the scene of the accident.
My family was also notified by the attending police officer and they came as quickly as they could.
Once I had been loaded onto that Medi-Vac Chopper, the head nurse also had to decide whether she wanted to leave me in the able-but-strange hands of the medical personnel on that chopper or if she wanted to fly all the way to Baltimore to administer CPR to her friend's son herself.
I have a feeling that the medical personnel on that chopper would not have been so diligent when my heart stopped beating on 3 seperate occasions and I would be dead if that woman wouldn't have flown to Baltimore with me to keep administering CPR by her own choice.
I was still unconscious when the chopper landed on top of the ‘Shock Trama Hospital’ in Baltimore and the doctors decided that I was in a comatose state.
My family was on their way to ‘Shock Trama’ and arrived shortly after the chopper had landed but I can only imagine how hard it was to be told that ‘your first-borne son is in a comatose state and will not live through the day’.
Three days after my accident, I was still in a coma but I was very much alive!
The doctors then predicted that I would remain in a coma for the rest of my life.
I can't get into everything my parents did while their son spent the next 40 days in a coma but I'm sure you can imagine what you would do if you had a son who was loved by everyone and he actually lost his life 3 times from a severe auto accident.
The doctors had predicted that I would remain in a coma for the rest of my life but when the monitors started to pick up an increase in brain activity, their prediction changed! They told my family that it was very unlikely that I'd ever walk or talk again and I was transported across the city to the Sinai Hospital.
Well, I'll just say that the doctor's prediction of my supposed recovery changed again after I mumbled a few words & stumbled a few steps. They then said that I would most likely never graduate from high school and “IF" I ever did, it would be years after my graduating class.
- I had spent 40 days in a coma. . .
- Then, for the next 2 weeks, I was stuck in the hospital bed and didn't have enough physical strength to be transported into a wheelchair. . .
- Once I could finally be lifted from my bed and set in a wheelchair, that was my only means of ambulation or getting around for about 5 months. . .
- I was then able to advance to the use of a walker to get around and that lasted for about 2 months. . .
Next, I advanced to the use of a mere cane to walk with and it was just about that time that my parents decided to withdraw me from the Sinai hospital in Baltimore, MD so they could enroll me in out-patient therapy at the Alfred I. Dupont Hospital in Wilmington, DE.
I continued therapy & recovery at A. I. Dupont for about 5 months and during that time, I was able to complete the school work I had missed for the first 3 marking periods of my senior year.
I was, in fact, able to walk across my home high school's football field - unassisted - to be handed my high school diploma and it was with my graduating class of ‘95.
When the principle handed over my diploma, it caused the parents in the bleachers to stand to their feet and give a standing ovation as well as many loud cheers.
Ok, great! I was a high school graduate and no one thought I could do it but what in the world would I or could I do to earn a living for myself, now that I have several physical limitations?
I discovered that my home state would pay my college tuition since I am now considered to be a handicapped person in the state of Maryland.
So I went to the nearby community college to take classes and that only lasted for about one semester before I just stopped going. They didn't have anything that really held my interest, to be honest!
So I spent a few months trying to work a few different jobs but of course, they all had to ‘let me go’ after I would damage some type of merchandise because of my lack of balance.
I even tried going back to college a second time to study AutoCADD (Computer Aided Drafting & Design) but that didn't last either.
When I had returned to college for the second time, I was able to rent a small apartment in the same town where the college was located which was the same town my parents lived in, and that is where I grew up & went to high school.
One cold day in January of 1997, I decided to carry a load of laundry to my parent's house so I could wash it since I didn't have my own washer & dryer.
I had walked about a quarter mile out of town in the direction of my parent's place when it happened.
The last thing I remember was yelling across the road to ask someone if they could give me a ride when everything just went dark!
When I came out of it, I found myself in a hospital bed once again but this time, I had a full leg cast on each leg.
In order to explain how it happened, I need to take you back to when I was standing on the side of the road, yelling to the car on the other shoulder.
There was some lady driving a big Lincoln Town Car and she was flying up the road behind me at about 65 mph.
This lady had a child in the back that wasn't in a car seat and she was turned around to correct the child causing her attention to be on anything but the road.
For this reason, the lady didn't see me standing on the side of the road when she veered off onto the shoulder and the front bumper of her big Lincoln Town Car smashed into my left knee with enough force to send me up into the air while the lady & her car ran off into the bushes.
Reportedly, the entire road where I had landed was covered with the blood squirting from my left knee.
You see, when that big Lincoln Town Car collided with the left side of my left knee at about 65 mph, the pressure was not only enough to throw my whole body up into the air but the force was great enough to shatter both the fibula & tibia bones at both the knee & the ankle of both legs, giving me 8 shattered joints all together. That was also the reason my blood was squirting all over the road - the bones had ripped through the outer skin of my left leg.
It was once again my good fortune that the doctor-on-duty at the Chrisitana Hospital in Christiana, DE (yes, I was air-lifted to yet another hospital) was an orthopedic specialist and was able to place each leg - with 4 shattered joints each - in a full leg cast.
So now my future looked even more dismal or disappointing but I came upon a Google Ad that sent me to a company that changed the way my future looks for me!
- I am completely able to walk with no assistive devices
- I am completely able to speak and very clear
- I am completely able to operate a motor vehicle safely as well!
- Because the bones in my legs were not set exactly the way they were at birth, I will never again be able to run
- Because of the damage to my throat, I will never again be able to sing in the shower *smile*
- Another problem the damage to my throat caused is the fact that I am unable to hold my breath under water, which is bad since I once worked as a lifeguard.
Although, a short while following my major accidents, I was able to create an incredibly successful web site and you can click the link below to see it and learn more about me. . .
Peters, Michael (2004) Web Site I've built since my accident: http://www.highgearwebdesign.com/
If you are at all interested in reviewing the result of months of intense labor, you can take a glance at my web site!