My life changing story

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  • Life Changing Story Stay Strong
  • Background Information Honor student Actively involved in church Involved in the broadcasting and journalism program on campus Lived for sports Great athlete played 12 years of soccer including 4 years of high school
  • April 1, 2011 Typical Friday Marked 15 days before my 21st birthday April Fools joke Had class and then had NewsCentral34 Talked to mom on the phone Plans that night with girls down the hall Phone call with sister Burtch and I talked on Skype Be safe tonight, said Jake.
  • Events that Night Went to Casa Loma to hang out with a friend Friend wanted to go to a party at Bluegrass Arrived at party around 11:30pm HUGE party with keg (75-100 people there) Never met the host(s) before Cops came to break up at 12:30am
  • How it unfolded Too many people there Cops came because of noise 2 ways out of apartment About 5 or 6 other kids jumped to avoid cops; I joined them
  • Being worked on Im VERY lucky to be alive Found unconscious Received care within the critical first hour Fractured skull Mark on back calf Swollen eye and bloody nose No broken bones or spinal damage Dave Breaking point Not a single scratch on phone
  • Transported to Central Michigan Community Hospital Admitted at 1:20am Dr. John Carey stabilized me Not much they could do Needed more care then they could handle
  • Phone call Parents got a call on April 2nd around 2am Mom didnt think much until she was getting my dads reactions, thought I was arrested Dad got in his truck to drive up to Saginaw
  • Phone Call Mom had a gut feeling something was wrong Officer gave her more details Had to tell my dad to turn around Woke up sister and gathered their things Extremely quiet car ride
  • St. Marys of Michigan Medical Airlifted to St. Marys trauma Center center at 2:20am One of the best trauma hospitals in Michigan $14,000 was the cost of the ride that took 20 minutes Most expensive t-shirt I own $1 a foot from the helipad to the front door That was a 500 feet
  • Upon arrival Received CAT scan Neck collar on Breathing tube inserted Parents warned NOT to talk and touch Shades had to be down Would cause stimulation for my brain
  • Critical condition No one knew if I was going to survive Hour by hour then day by day One nurse didnt think I would A close friend had to say goodbye In a coma for three weeks Naturally for one week Drug induced for two 13 IVs Everyone was unsure if I would ever be the same person
  • Critical condition CAT scan showed damage to the left side of the brain rebound effect After my initial CAT scan, the other CAT scans and tests were perfect Legs were moving on 2nd day Required surgery for shunt to drain blood While still in my coma, nurse said she had never seen someone improve that quickly in 23 years Mom stayed by my side the whole time Dad and sister came up every weekend
  • Prayers for Matt Herrod Facebook group Close to 800 members People from high school, college, work, friends of parents, people I had never met joined the group Everyone in Livonia school district knew and everyone at church rallied around my family A friend kept everyone updated on condition daily Numerous comments of support Prayer service, t-shirts made, cards signed and fundraisers once home I kept people updated of my progress Still keep people informed of journey
  • On April 16th, I turned 21 Its the one birthday I will never remember, but one Ill never forget. Mom wanted to skip it, then realized we could have been at my funeral instead Large support system Birthday cake for friends and the staff
  • Easter Sunday Woke up as the drugs started to wear off Looked like an octopus Jesus woke from the dead on Easter Sunday and thats when I woke up too.
  • Started therapy at St. Marys Had to relearn how to do EVERYTHING, Started OT (occupational therapy) and PT (physical therapy) No speech cause of trach and that part of the brain was not healed yet OT was basic thumbs UP, DOWN The use of my middle finger PT involved sitting up and sitting in a chair
  • Spiritual Event Saw my grandpa Died in 2005 Cant remember what was said
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (Detroit) Transported on May 10th, 1 of top 5 rehab facilities in the country Upon arrival couldnt talk, walk or eat whole foods Placed on 4th floor with other TBI, stroke and seizure patients Evaluated on first day
  • Dream One day thought this was a dream Went back to sleep Woke up, still the same condition Soon realized this was real
  • Communication tool-Used this for 4 weeks-Most frustrating thing I have ever had to do-Had to point to EVERY single letter
  • Daily routine Woke up at 5:30am, 5 days a week Therapy from 9am-1pm Took a nap Brain was tired from working so hard My freedom: Gone! Very bored Lay in bed or watch TV Would call my parents to visit earlier then expected Consistent visitors
  • Rehab Lost a TON of strength Couldnt do a push up 2 mph on a treadmill Watch the NBA or Stanley Cup Playoffs every night This didnt make sense to me, I remember Wings were in the regular season, now I was watching them in the second round Helped me get through the day
  • Personality change Common for TBI victim to have a total shift Not the case Morning person Still obsessed with sports Nick Fairly Jay is a piece of shit
  • Depressed Times I was down Oh good job Matt. Wanted to escape Was at level 1 and needed to be a 5 to go home Next day therapists make a comment to my mom
  • Swallow Test May 17th Couldnt come any earlier Closest thing to whole foods was ice cubes Gave me various kinds of food to see how I would handle them Passed Feeding tube was annoying Wasnt filling Got double portions of food
  • Swallow Test Seeing other people eat whole foods made me want them First meal; chicken fingers with fries, cake, ice cream and a Pepsi Drawer full of food Received double portions Was a kid in the candy store Usual meal
  • May 23, 2011 Unforgettable Day This was the day I started TALKING Asked to sing Happy birthday
  • June 9, 2011 Discharge Day Weighed 113 lbs Left the hospital with NO wheelchair, cane, walker or medication Not a single headache ONCE or seizure Walked around the house to see if everything was the same
  • Home journey Watched like a baby Call my mom to get out of bed, had a bench in the shower, had to use hand rails Took the weekend off from therapy Started back on Monday 6 days a week Summer job; therapy
  • Home journey 3-6 hours on therapy OT and PT 2-3 times a week Speech once a week for an hour Gym twice a week 20 lbs dumbbells Very determined Wasnt going to get better just sitting around
  • Home journey Limp Big deal running on cement No contact sports or Alcohol for a full year License back on Nov. 28th Summer of 2011 was about 10-15% Today Id say 90%
  • Home journey Learned how much a support group helps Friends came over Friends visited from school People from my church and the pool asked all the time how I was doing Realized how many people heard about me
  • One-year anniversary A year ago today a kid from Livonia jumped off the balcony below my apartment and was in a coma. I stood on my balcony while he laid motionless and the paramedics worked on him. He was air lifted to Saginaw. He suffered a bad brain injury and when he was out of a coma had to learn how to do simple things like talk and walk again. Through hard work, and determination he is back here at CMU going to school. He continues to im