The six weeks prior were a whirlwind for all of us. So many medical terms and surgeries flooded our days, all leading back to the “day of the accident.” On a beautiful, sunny day in May, the 16th to be exact, my friend Sue’s brother Mike was riding home from her house on his motorcycle in full protective gear from head to toe (THANK GOD). Mike was going straight on Route 33 East and a Jeep Rubicon that was traveling West on Route 33 made a left turn into him. Mike saw the Jeep hit into his left leg. He knew in that moment; it wasn’t going to be good. Mike was thrown from his bike and landed 110 feet from the point of impact. He lost major amounts of blood and his leg was “mangled” (the term used by doctors). A witness stopped and applied a tourniquet on him until paramedics and help arrived. When help arrived, a second tourniquet was applied. Mike was then airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center and was brought right into surgery to try to save him and his leg.
After 7 hours in surgery, Sue was told he had over 50 breaks in his left leg and this was going to be life changing for her brother. He had 3 more surgeries in the next 4 days. Screws, plates, moved muscle, bone grafting, skin grafting, moving calf muscle to cover bare bone on his shin were all parts of his surgeries. The weeks ahead were incredibly tough. Mike was in a full leg apparatus; his wounds were down to the actual bone - extensive and deep. He was sent home where he was cared for by family, which was excruciating on him and them. They would have to change dressings on deep wounds 3 times a day. It was grueling. There would be times where if he moved a certain way, his leg would gush, and he would be in a pool of blood.
Fast forward 6 weeks, Mike went into the hospital for another skin grafting surgery. The doctors called Sue after surgery to say his leg “died” and that they were going to amputate his left leg at the knee, which they did the next morning. That was on June 26th. He was sent home to recover and was doing so with his head held high and with a great outlook. He couldn’t wait to heal, get his “new leg” and get back to work. Until, the bones in his left upper thigh did not fuse together in the way that the doctors had hoped, so there he went on October 20th, into surgery once again, for bone grafting.
Through all of this, Mike had found out that the person who hit him did admit fault but didn’t have more than $15,000 of insurance coverage. In a no-fault state of New Jersey, this was detrimental. Over the last 6 months Mike has exhausted all of his savings by paying his bills (no company wants to hear his story; they just want to get paid) and is now becoming more and more in debt as the days go by.
It’s very sad that here he is, with an amputation, not being able to work all this time, (and for who knows how much longer) and suffering not only physically and mentally, but now financially as well. He does not need this added stress to him. He needs to have a clear mind to recover and walk again with a prosthetic one day (hopefully soon!)
- CHARLES ATTANASIO
- John Sallusto
- Salvatore Cantarella
- Ralph DiBugnara
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