(Picture taken less than an hour before the accident)
I imagine most people who know me are already aware that, on May 19, 2017, I was in a bad car accident. Here is my story.
I was driving home from work, around 9:30 PM. I liked to take a quiet road to a gap crossing the mountains, rather than the more popular Transmountain pass, in El Paso.
Everything was normal, until I noticed that the headlights coming toward me were in my lane. I only had a few moments to decide how to react. Being that it was dark, and with the curve of the road, I was not 100% sure that there was not another car in the oncoming lane. Unfortunately, this road has random stretches of guard rails, so getting out of the way to the right was also not possible. The road was curving, and they were following that curve in the wrong lane, so I couldn't imagine how they didn't see me.
I got over as far as I could to the right, about half out of the lane, and started to slow down as much as I could, but the speed limit was 65, so it was sill pretty fast. My hope was that they would at least get far enough back into their lane to avoid the collision.
They did not, and they hit me directly on the drivers side, crusing my vehicle around me. The other driver died on impact, so I will never know why they were in the wrong lane.
Both of my feet were crushed, with bones protruding through the skin. Both of my legs were broken, I fractured my spine, four ribs, my sternum, and broke one finger. One kidney and my spleen were lascerated, and I lost a great amount of blood. They had to cut me out of my vehicle, and I was taken to the hospital where I died briefly, but was fortunately revived. I woke up days later on a ventilator, unaware of how close I had come to death, or how bad my injuries really were. I had been admitted as a John Doe, and they found out who I was by holding a pen and paper over me so that I could write down someone for them to call. My brain was fairly scrambled at this point, so I ended up writing down my sister's name, and my best friend's phone number.
I was on the ventilator for around a week and a half, and in the hospital for nearly a month. I had four surgeries, two of them before I even woke up. After my last surgery, I was transferred to a foster home, where I stayed for about a month before transferring to a nursing home in Albuquerque.
Being a 31 year old in a nursing home is an interesting experience, I can say that for sure. When I first arrived, there wasn't too much I could do for therapy since I was still in two casts. The biggest difference for me was the space. There was enough room for me to get into my wheelchar and move around.
I filled my days with physical therapy and crocheting hats for patients and staff. After about a month, I was cleared to take my first steps. It was slow going, and I had to wear boots for support and have help for the first month. I went to therapy six days a week, determined to get out of there as soon as I could.
Finally, during the holidays, I was released and visited my family for a week before heading back home. I stayed with friends on the Texas side of the border while I got my new living situation ironed out with the money raised on this campaign.
But now it's time for more surgery.
My feet have been left deformed, because there was too much damage to be fixed with the first few surgeries. I have applications out for disability and New Mexico state assistance, but they are both still pending. Thankfully, I am getting the groceries I need through SNAP, and the majority of my medical expenses are covered by Medicaid, but as carefully as I have tried to budget, I am nearing the end of my resources. Unfortunately, I am not yet medically cleared to work (unless the job is 100% sitting), and have been advised that if I accept any employment I will become ineligible for assistance.
So I am asking for help, again.
I have expanded my goal to cover aproximately 6 more months of rent and utilities. That would buy me time to get through the next surgery, It would also help me get to and from appointments, since I don't have the means or ability to drive myself, and cover anything that Medicaid does not.
I realize, again, that this is a lot of money to ask for. The first goal was met so quickly that I can only describe it as a miracle. I don't expect another miracle, but every little bit helps, and buys me more time.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
- Daniel Hogan
- Kyra Neslage
- Donna Devane
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