Hello my name is Michael Idell. I almost dyed 6 times on 10/12/03, which changed my life forever. I was in an automobile accident with a friend.
My friend broke his leg in 5 places and left the hospital in a week or so. Luckily he ended up alive! I had fractured both wrists, both ankles, 8 ribs, and my skull.
I went into cardiac arrest 6 times in the first twenty-four hours of the accident. Once in the impact of the accident and 5 times during skull surgery. I was put in a medically induced coma for 3 1/2 weeks and woke up as an inpatient for 3 weeks. I started out-patient therapy, I was supposed to be in the hospital for 2 years but I recovered and I was out in 3 months. They all told me God kept me here for something else. I just thought I was lucky.
We were both totally blessed! In making light of the situation, I have focused since to be there for the people who can't or don't know how. Working in the medical field for half my life and being the patient, I was asked by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey, if I would like to be a mentor for Brain Trauma, for survivors to help them, their families, and other outsiders learn the effects of brain trauma.
I passed on the opportunity to focus on getting back on my feet and taking care of my family. I shared my story online in April 2004 about how lucky I was to be alive and that is when things took off. There have been high's and low's in the process and learned a lot since getting my degree in social sciences since my brain injury but I continue to focus on my main goal.
I'm supportive of the things that no one could ever understand or know how to comprehend with, aside from
being the patient. I have found out from other patients what it has been like - The criticism, ridicule, lack of understanding, emotional distress, and the discrimination are what a number of us have seen. It is wonderful being supportive of these people but I am determined to teach people, to educate people who do not know and need/want to learn. I've been there, making light of what I went through, I help others.
There's something more to make out of a really bad situation. People wonder why brain trauma patients reach out to others - why we ask for help, why we need them. This is why. We help!
I am now the CEO of a global non-profit organization for neurological impairments including Multiple Sclerosis, hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury, stroke, aneurysm, tumors and many more.
My wife and I devote our lives offering education, peer support and counseling for thousands now
with a global resource center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Brain Injury Radio Network and our website ASBISG.org