Michelle Ska’s Post Crash

$3,005 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 9 months
On the night of June 29, 2016 on the island of Maui in Hawaii I had a 50mph head on collusion with an oncoming car that turned left in front of me. I was riding the motorcycle and the driver of the car was a 20 year old tourist from CA who wasn’t even on the rental agreement. 

I nearly died in the crash, but with the security that someone was looking out for me and the outpouring of love I received, I found the strength to heal.

The amount of injuries I had were extensive:

- A 15cm gash that was 5cm deep next to my right shin, required 20 staples.
- A fractured shin bone, required a full leg cast.
- The inside of both of my thighs were severely bruised when I was ejected from the motorcycle. The skin died due to the blood not returning to the bruise and I had the inside of both of my thighs cut out down to the muscle.
- My entire pelvis shattered into several pieces and is now an 8” screw is holding it in place through my pelvis into my sacrum (lower spine). 
- I had 7 cracked ribs: 2 on the left, 5 on the right.
- The cracked ribs punctured my right lung causing it to collapse, required a breathing tube to be inserted into my side.
- Both my wrists were broken, one in a half arm cast, the other in a full arm cast. 
- I broke the middle bone in my left palm.
- A 4” gash in my upper left arm.
- A 1.5 cm crack in the back of my left skull.
- A left brain contusion, my short-term memory and spelling abilities have decreased.
- My right elbow was crushed and now, a screw is used as the pivot point where my arm bends.
- PTSD so afraid of getting hit that I can’t drive due to safety concerns. Breakdowns as a passenger and as a pedestrian are easily triggered when it looks like someone is going to hit me, I require psychiatric therapy.
- The biggest injury: My right humerus (upper arm) was completely broken off and shattered into 10 pieces. I’ve had 3 surgeries on it. The initial surgery required 3 plates, an 8” screw into my forearm, and 30 screws to hold it all in place. The second surgery was needed on March 30, 2017 due to the bones not fusing together. All the metal in my arm (except the elbow screw) was removed, cadaver bone fragments and marrow were used, and a new plate and screws were installed. On June 7, 2018 I had my third arm surgery, which also required a hip surgery. After 2 years, the largest break in my humerus STILL hadn’t fused together and several screws broke. During this surgery, the doctor used a bone graft out of my own hip to insert into the break.  
- 2 out of the 3 nerves in my right arm were pulled when my arm got crushed. The nerve damage has caused me to feel pain, numbness, and has limited use in most of my arm and most of my hand. 

I was in the ICU for 2 weeks. I had to learn everything over again. The first time I learned how to sit up again took the help of 2 therapists and 30 minutes. I had to learn how to feed myself again and I couldn’t hold my cell phone because both of my hands had casts. 

Rehab was lined up next, but without being able to walk, I was placed in a nursing home until I could. There, I learned how to write using my non-dominate hand, how to sit up on my own, how to use the bathroom, then stand up again, and after 4 weeks there I took my first steps. It was also at this time that I hired a lawyer to represent me when I  could barely sign my initials. I figured it was a cut and dry case since from the very beginning the police report stated that I had the right of way and the other driver clearly stated it wasn’t his car and he did not see me. 

In rehab I had intensive physical and occupational therapy. I could finally be flexible to touch my face again, rediscovered how to dress myself, how to brush my teeth independently, how to bath myself with assistance, and eventually I learned how to walk with the assistance of a walker. After 2 weeks I was discharged from rehab and I returned home. 

The financial losses that followed were severe: I lost a year’s wages.  I filed for unemployment, but because I was injured, I was unemployable and did not qualify for unemployment. I did not receive any food stamps. I was not eligible to receive social security disability because my disabilities were not severe enough over the long term. (It’s for those who are severely disabled for several years and, believe it or not, I was not considered severely disabled.) several collection agencies came after me for not paying my medical bills. I used up all my savings plus exhausted the money that my family was able to provide to help survive everyday.

After one year, I was forced to return to work teaching public school elementary special ed even while still being injured because I couldn’t go on without money any longer; I was (and still am) tens of thousands of dollars in debt. 

On June 6, 2018, my lawyer contacted me stating my case was ending: I am not winning anything.  ZERO. The guy who hit me didn’t have insurance and isn’t worth anything...you can’t sue someone who doesn’t have money. The rental car company wasn’t liable because of the contracts that covered them. The guy’s girlfriend’s mother whom rented the car was found not to be liable because she wasn’t the one who hit me. She is also not liable for negligence in giving the car to someone not on the lease because he did not have a poor driving record (I would have had more of a case if he was a reckless driver). I am not able to garnish the guy’s future wages because there is no security that it will be monitored and followed through. Yes, I got hit, it wasn’t my fault, and I suffer physically, emotionally and financially with no one else suffering any consequences. All of this is my responsibility. The driver wasn’t arrested or fined either. He got off scott free. 

Looking forward, I hopefully won’t need anymore surgeries, but I still will need medications and lots of physical therapy for years to come.

I’m asking all of you for help to ease the financial burden all of this has caused me.  Luckily, I have my own insurance, but there is so much more I’ve had to pay for myself: All non-insurance covered medical payments and co-pays, transportation to see my doctors and therapists, food, and everyday bills and rent have all been paid for by myself, causing me to accrue lots of credit card debt for years.  On June 25, 2018 I learned my prescriptions for painkillers I need that I’ve been paying 100% out of pocket every month since November 2017 for aren’t being covered either because the quantity I need exceeds their allowance.

Life isn’t fair, but I’m thankful I’m alive. I’m thankful I can walk. I am thankful I can be pretty close to myself someday again. And I’m thankful for all the love and support, especially to those of you who are donating. I appreciate it more than words could say.

PS - If you ride a motorcycle, please wear a helmet. I’d be dead without it.
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$3,005 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 9 months
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