Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the

Mike's Story

TRAUMA SURVIVOR MIKE MUTCHLER TALKS ABOUT HIS INJURIES AND TSN

What was your trauma?
The cause of my trauma was from a motor vehicle accident June 11, 2009. I was extricated and airlifted to University of MD Shock Trauma. My individual trauma extended from a right ankle fracture, to a fractured pelvis--breaking every bone in my right leg. In addition to several other minor breaks, I also suffered a head trauma. I was unconscious for several weeks, had 15+ surgeries, and had several complications before starting physical therapy and my journey of recovery.

How did you learn about the TSN?
While recovering in the hospital, I had a visitor from the TSN. She spoke to me briefly and left a folder describing the TSN Program. I was heavily medicated and didn’t read the material right away. While I was home recovering, I came across the folder. I immediately knew this was for me! I was unable to attend the first meetings of the group due to weather and hospitalizations. Finally I was able to attend my first meeting of the TSN March 2010.

How have you been involved in the TSN?
In addition being involved in monthly support meetings, I became a peer visitor July 2010. I can’t think of a more rewarding experience! As a patient, being in the hospital with injuries and questions and facing the unknown is scary. There is an instant click a peer visitor has with a patient when you walk into the room to offer support--knowing you have been where they are and understand the feelings, pain, and emotions they are experiencing.

How has the TSN helped you and others?
The monthly support meetings give us the opportunity to discuss and share our individual successes and setbacks, and give and receive that support no one else but another trauma survivor understands. I know my personal recovery would have been more difficult mentally and emotionally without the friendship and encouragement of my peers in the TSN.

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