This is where I'm gonna have to thank God again. So we got back from Disneyland and my girlfriend insisted on me going to get a cat scan. Finally I gave in. I figured that it was just gonna be a pinched nerve. For the first time in a long time, I felt the most fear, depression, and anger all at the same time. The doctor told me that I had a broken neck. Of course this was after all kinds of different tests. I had an injury that only usually happens in a automobile accident. My C6 vertebrae was cracked and somehow my C5 was lodged underneath it. Also my tendon was torn and I had a dissection which is when your artery is severely bruised causing less than 25% narrowing of the artery. I needed surgery immediately. The doctor said not to move a single muscle at all. The fact that I wasn't paralyzed from the neck down, I was a walking miracle. Doctors don't usually believe in that sort of stuff. I praise the Lord every single day.
The Procedure: First I had to have what you call a halo, put on me to extend my C-Spine. If this didn't work, they were gonna have to enter my neck through the front and back. It worked!! It wasn't over yet. Next I had an incision made in my neck, where they had to move my esophagus over to get to my spine. Now since the halo put it back into alignment, the doctor then had to remove the broken vertebrae and place concrete between my vertebrae. Lastly, the neurosurgeons placed a plate with screws in place, to act as my torn ligament. This is what you call an anterior cervical fusion. They fused my C5 and C6 together. I woke up with a feeding tube and a c-collar. Horrible end to an amazing weekend.
Recovery: After the operation, I spent four nights in the ICU, and a total of six days in the hospital. It was a nightmare. I went from eating an amazing Haagen-Dazs ice cream sandwich at Disneyland, to this? Now I was being fed through a feeding tube, and this lasted up until the fifth day. My diet was ice chips and liquid food. Once I could swallow, after failing the first time, I finally could go home.
I am grateful. I am grateful to God for his protection. I am grateful to the nurses, the doctors, most of all my amazingly beautiful girlfriend and family for their love and support. They prayed for me everyday and continue to do so. I'm healing quickly and I'm back to going to school. The only downside is the depression that kicks in. When I look into the mirror and realize that football is over. When I see myself wearing this uncomfortable c-collar for another couple months, only to take it off when I shower. When I walk around school and everyone looks at me and feels such pity. When I hold my toothbrush and my thumb is still numb. When the bills start coming in, and believe me they aren't light. This is the reason why I came up with the idea to do this. I cannot work until, at the earliest May 14th, 2018. I injury happened in January. I applied for TDI and I get very little every week. My job has been giving me a hundred dollars every two weeks which is not much. I am still grateful, but of course I have bills to pay. I have rent, car payments, car insurance, food, phone bills, credit card bills, not to mention the crazy amount that I'm gonna have to pay for the surgery as well as the medications, nights in the hospital, follow up visits, etc. I'm trying to raise this money because everything happened to be done with an out of network provider. This means that the insurance may cover half if that. My insurance is trying to appeal it, saying that it was an emergency surgery, which it was, but that will only bring it in network which is still a lot of money. I'm falling behind and running out of time. I'm not gonna lie, I am still blessed in my recovery. I still have my job, school, and my motion back. I still have my wonderful girlfriend by my side (who still thinks I'm handsome with a c-collar) and my family praying for me daily. I still have hope, faith, and love in my heart. I still have drive and passion in me never to give up. You should see how fast I'm recovering, it's God given. I still have money for food and enough not to be panicked. I just don't want to be there anytime soon. I'm praying daily for something, anything would help. Help me to raise this money as soon as possible, so I can take care of these bills when the final outcome comes out. I'm sure the bills will be well over the amount that I'm trying to raise, but it's something. This would be a great answer to my prayers. I thank you so so much, even if you took the time to read this. God bless you in whatever you are going through in your life right now. May the Lord who restores all things restore any brokenness in your home. Love you.
(For copyright purposes of the video I posted, the song is called Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran and the video is made through flipigram.com.)
Aloha, Michael and Wendy
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