Before the accident, Michael Middleton worked four days per week as a delivery driver. "On my days off, I really enjoyed spending my time outdoors," Michael said. "Anything outdoors. Sports, swimming, etcetera." Michael was completely independent, living his life as a "single bachelor."
But then Michael was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident when his truck ran off the road. He suffered serious injuries, including complex fractures to his skull, face, and orbital bone, a left subdural hematoma (bleeding outside the brain) and a subarachnoid hemorrhage (stroke). Michael had substantial blood loss from his face. When he arrived at the emergency department, he was intubated to protect his airway from the bleeding.
To manage his complicated and complex facial fractures, Michael transferred to OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University). There, Michael had a tracheostomy placed, and received IV antibiotics to treat an infection in his blood. The stroke left Michael confused and disoriented, not knowing where he was or why he was in the hospital.
OHSU referred Michael to Vibra Specialty Hospital of Portland. That's when things began to turn around. Within the first week at Vibra, Michael began walking and exercising with physical and occupational therapies. During week two, Michael's trach was removed and he could breathe on his own with no complication. Working with speech therapy, Michael resumed eating regular food again. By week three, Michael seemed like a brand new man. He could communicate his needs his doctor's cleared him to walk the floor unsupervised.
Michael was Michael again.
The view from Michael's window inspired him to recover. "It was always so beautiful outside," he recalled. "I could not wait to get back out in it!" His main motivation, though, was his loved ones. "I missed my family, I missed my friends," he added.
Another important component of Michael's recovery was the support of the staff at Vibra. "All of the nursing and therapy staff always kept me on my toes and focused on my goals," he noted. "Chandradai, the unit secretary, would always keep me company when I was lonely. Nicole, the patient advocate, made sure my stay here was nothing but great. And Lindsay, my nurse ambassador, kept me positive and goal-oriented."
Michael made such great progress, he discharged back home. "I am really excited to get back to work," Michael stated. "I also have been wanting to get a dog for a very long time. This hiccup in life made me realize that life is too short not to have a pug!"Posted By