Michael's story: How a near-death experience created empathy and appreciation

At the time, Michael had only been working at MOBE for a year; it was his first job out of college. Little did he know his life would take a turn—on Christmas Day nonetheless—with a near-death accident. The tragedy and his recovery would give Michael valuable insight into not only his own life, but life and struggles in general. And it would make him love his work and workplace even more. Read Michael’s account of his story.

We were about 5 hours into our 6-hr drive home. While merging onto an exit ramp, we hit some ice, and the car dropped down a hill. Apparently, (I was out cold) I was rushed to the hospital via helicopter and put into a medically-induced coma. I woke up a couple of days later, and they said there was only a 5% chance that I’d ever be able to walk again without surgery. It was expected that I’d have surgery and then go to a rehabilitation center to learn how to walk again. My parents were thinking of ways to make me feel happy, like bringing me Chipotle, because it was supposed to be a long road ahead of me. But I defied the odds and walked (without surgery) so soon after I woke up from the coma. My parents thought I was delusional when I called to give them the good news that I could come home.

I lived at my parents’ house until I could move back into my apartment. I was sleeping as much as 22 hours a day for weeks. I’m an independent person and wanted to come back to work, but I had to learn to be patient with myself. The accident and recovery process gave me a new perspective; you’ve got to find positivity in everything. I had a birthday and felt so lucky to be able to celebrate and do everything I would’ve normally done. Plus, I can relate to people with struggles now, and that’s a blessing.

From Day 1, MOBE was very supportive and reached out to me. There were so many little things my coworkers did. And I really appreciate how flexible MOBE has been: When I returned to work, MOBE totally respected my recovery plan and knew if I didn’t ease in carefully, there could be serious and life-long implications. Even when I wanted to push myself to do everything full on right away, MOBE was adamant that I do everything my doctor was telling me to do. I felt like I was mentally prepared and emotionally supported the entire time. I guess it’s the fact that everybody seemed to care.

When I started working here, the big thing MOBE stressed was “We don’t want this to feel like just a team, we want it to feel like a family.” And when I returned to work after the accident, every time I came in, my whole team would clap! Little things always happen here—it means a lot.

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