Posted on July 15, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Mike

TBI Coma Vigil: Mike Part Three

We think of the TBI coma vigil as beginning in the ICU waiting room. See But as Mike’s wife makes clear, the waiting, the TBI coma vigil, begins even when someone isn’t sitting still:

My sister came with me – I drove down there.  It was a quiet trip and I got in there (St. Vincent’s) and said I was the wife of my husband who was in there somewhere.

Fortunately, this time a medical professional needed something from her, i.e., information about Mike’s medical history.

One of the doctors came running and threw me in this room and wanted to know what type of medication he was on and I told him and then they took me to the fourth floor, the surgery floor and the doctor, came out which I do know him from previous injuries on myself, but told me what had happened and it wasn’t good.

Mike’s Wife Unaware She was About to Begin a TBI Coma Vigil

So you figured out that he was on his way to Saint Vincent’s?


Your sister came with you.


Was she driving?

I was driving.

The TBI Coma Vigil Begins

Can you put yourself back behind the wheel of the car that day.  Pause for a minute, as if you are living that moment again,  and tell me what’s going through your mind as you drive.

I just can’t believe it.  I actually, I think I was actually in shock.  You know, I didn’t have any tears or anything, I was just quiet and she was quiet next to me because I think she knew that I just needed to think.  I really don’t know what I was thinking to be honest with you.

Unreality, numbness, on auto-pilot.  What passed for truth when she got to the hospital was harsh, too harsh.

When I got to the hospital and talked to the doctor, he pretty much told me this isn’t good and to leave my husband go –  (I have reports that state that).  And I was, I said to the surgeon…

I sat there like this and he was talking to me, you know, three, four feet away and I said I am listening to you, I understand you.   But, he needs a chance and I would like you to do the best you can do.  That’s all I ask.

So they had actually told you that you ought to think about donating his organs?

Just think about just leaving him be the way he is.  They told me he was either going to die from the injury or he was going to bleed to death because he was on Plavix. The doctor was irritated and angry and very harsh because it was – it put him in a bad situation because he didn’t figure that he was going to  make it.

So they did the surgery…

What was the relevance of the Plavix?

A blood thinner.  That he was going to  bleed to death from that.  (He takes it) to keep his blood thin so he didn’t get blood clots.  He had some arterial something.  He had a stent put in his heart (before his accident).


The TBI coma vigil is very taxing in itself but now Mike’s wife is told her husband probably won’t survive.

Next in Part Four – Who Was Mike Before His ATV Accident and Severe Brain Injury?

By Attorney Gordon Johnson

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447