Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Michael Update

Hey Team,

So thank you to everyone who has kept Michael in their thoughts and prayers, I can't tell you how much your support has meant to me. As of right now, Michael is back home with his family. Well actually he's in a hospital at home, but atleast he's not in Italy anymore. They are saying he's going to be released into an out patient rehab program next week, and hope that he should be able to go back to school (not functioning fully by any means) but that he can Go (he goes to school in the northeast) on time. His leg is supposed to heal in about 6 to 7 months, and his brain...well we're hoping for the best.

Let me tell you a bit about what happened and my time there. (I'm sorry if this is too much or just really off topic to some people, but its on my mind a lot lately, so bear with me)

Michael was on a school trip in Capri when he was hit by a young boy on a Vespa. Michael flew 15 ft in the air and over 2 trees before crashing down on the sidewalk (Michaels very nice camera was later found 50 ft away in a garden). As you can imagine, its a miracle he is alive. The boy by the way, also crashed, but was thankfully wearing a helmet and is ok. What happened after is really all a bunch of just...luck...that we still have him with us here. Someone near by heard the crash and called the police before even looking to see what happened. Some police were near by and able to come quickly. Upon seeing the situation, the cop called for the helicopter to be readied, as he knew they would not be able to handle the situation on Capri itself. Michael at this time was awake and talking, cracking jokes like normal, the bone was just sticking out of his leg. Thank god one of the EMT's happened to ask if anything other than his leg hurt and he said (thank god he speaks italian) that his head kinda hurt. He was in surgery within the hour. There was bleeding on the inside of his skull but it hadn't reached his brain yet, which is why he is...well not a vegetable or dead. Minutes...minutes....and my best friend could be lying 6 ft under...

I flew down to Naples for the weekend two weekends ago and made it to the hospital where his parents and Michael were. The hospital was a massive city like complex that reminded me a lot of Cuba to be honest, but the treatment there was wonderful (if not as attentive as American care.) They saved Michael's life. I won't go into what happened in the neuro ward when I wasn't there, but just imagine a distraught mother who speaks no Italian trying to get information about her comatose son.

Anyway, so the first day I was there, he was pretty good. The scar on his head is ridiculous, and his leg was still in a cast. He's thin, and he was just...pretty helpless. But he could kinda talk to me. He would mumble a lot and he lost energy very quickly, but he can still understand Italian and we talked about Carravaggio. :) I ran around trying to get as much information from the nurses (men though, I'm not sure what they would be called, but I think they're nurses) as I could. There were no doctors-- for what reasons I'm still unsure of, other than the "its sunday, and its italy" reason. I also talked to all the familys on the floor. He was in an ortho ward, so one of the boys there had had the surgery Michael was going to have (Michaels was the only one who had also been in the neuro/ICU ward). Michaels parents didn't realize how well I spoke, and were very grateful in the end. I just did what I could. I was a good "squeaky wheel" as my mother would say. :)

The second day was rougher. I had downloaded a movie on my computer (he didn't have Any of his stuff with him, and I figured he was bored out of his mind) for us to watch (Invictus) but he was never really with it, and too tired to watch. He wasn't really talking or making sense, and his eyes were hurt by the light. He slept basically the entire day, and was extremely NOT lucid when he was awake. It was really rough for me to see. My best friend sitting there but just not really there. Also one of his eyes doesn't really open fully. That apperently is still one of the biggest problems, and the doctors are just saying his eyes (now with double vision sometimes) will heal with time.

His mood apparently is much better than it was. He had been waiting over a week for his leg surgery. He got it the day after I left. I made sure of it, lol. He kept waking up and thinking it was Monday and would get so depressed when we told him it was still Sunday. I finally was like, if you wake up, and I'm not here, its time for your surgery. I was devestated I had to leave. Even just sitting there, and going to the little mini market in the bacement of one of the buildings in the hospital to help them get groceries felt to me like I was helping in some way, and that he knew I was with him, even when he was asleep. His parents, by the way, were handling the whole Italy thing so well. They were making everything into a positive- it was really inspiring.

Since then, they managed to fly him home (with a doctor on board) and he is in the hospital at home. My mom went to visit him for a bit the other day and said he was doing well. I think that the moral victory of having his leg set (even if it means there is effectively a 3 hole punch looking metal thing on the side of his calf for the next 6 months) and moving forward was a lot for him and his progress. Plus they just say, his brain is fine, we just have to let it heal and wake at its own speed.

Ok, that's it. Thank you for listening, and thank you for your support. I love you all, and am about to follow this up with a much more light-hearted post to cheer everyone up. And remember, Michael is in good spirits they say, so we can be too! :)

Princess Kelley


  1. Thanks for updating us with this good news. He's lucky to have such a good friend.


  2. That has got to be incredibly scary. I can't imagine being a country (or more) away when my best friend (or child) had been so seriously injured. Glad it sounds like he is doing well.

  3. Thank you for the hopeful update on Michael. thanks for being such a good friend to him and his parents!
    *avuncular hug and forehead smooch

  4. Hi Kelley,

    I'm glad you were able to be there to help your friend. Hopefully, more familiar surroundings will assist with his recovery.