update: No longer as broken, but now the grace period on medical bills is ending.
I was hit head-on by a frickin' minivan. I'll be crippled until at least the new year, so am asking friends and strangers to help me out.
On July 2nd, I was riding my motor scooter to work as a waiter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A lady in a minivan drifted across the center line, side-swiping the car in front of me and hitting me head-on at about 35mph.
I was brought to UNC Memorial Hospital with a cut femoral artery, broken knees, legs, and back. Because I remained conscious through the entire experience, they weren't too concerned about brain damage. I had reconstructive surgery that night, where they put pins in my knees and a metal sheet in my left leg. They put me in BLE braces that keep my legs locked at full extension (I won't be able to bend my knees for the next three months) and a TLSO brace that I have to wear any time I'm sitting up (big plastic shell that keeps my torso from twisting or bending). I'll be in a wheelchair for the next six months.
When I first got out of surgery, I was told that I would probably be in the ICU for about a week, the main hospital floor for a week, and in-patient rehab for about four weeks. On July 18th, just 16 days after the accident, I as released from the hospital, having successfully completed the first part of my physical therapy.
It was really difficult; standing up out of bed into a walker for the first time was the single most difficult task I've ever done, but it's been worth it. I exceeded all my therapists' expectations, and now am staying with a group of very wonderful friends who are going to make sure I'm able to keep up with my physical therapy so that I'll be able to succeed with the later parts of my physical therapy (actually learning to walk.)
So in terms of physical recovery, I'm doing about twice as well as could be expected. And I have a good support network to help make sure I don't hurt myself, or get cabin fever waiting for my legs to be useful.
But that doesn't solve the short-term issues of money: for groceries, for pillows, for over-the-counter meds and co-pays. So I'm asking you, the lovely folk on the Internet, to help me. I can't promise you potato salad, but you will get cool photos and video of my progression back to a fully ambulatory person! So that's cool.
Please and thank you.
(Sorry for any rambling. Pain meds. #beingreal)
- David Vallner
- _ reardin
- Pauly Hart
- Renee Keelan
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