Matthew Johnston

First post: Jun 23, 2017 Latest post: Jan 26, 2018
Welcome to Matty J's CaringBridge website. We are using this site to keep family and friends updated on his recovery process. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

As many of you know, on Thursday, June 1st, Matt fell 35ft from a ladder while painting a house in Baltimore. Our best friend Jenny was also on site painting and with the assistance of a former EMT who happened to be in the area, the called 911 and Matt was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Unit.

The damage--multiple skull fractures, subdural hematoma, nerve damage in the left eye, partial collapse of right lung, and small fracture of L2 lumbar. Considering the height of the fall and all of the potential objects he could have hit on the way down, and the way he could have landed he was incredibly lucky.

Once Matt was stabilized, he was moved to ICU and remained sedated to relieve the swelling on his brain. After the first couple the days, the nurses would bring him slightly out of sedation to test his responses by asking questions like "can you open your eyes," "give me a thumbs up," or "stick out your tongue." At he beginning he was unable to do these things, but eventually he was able to produce appropriate responses.

Couple of things we learned: Matt hates mittens and hates being restrained even more. These were done, of course for his safety. Once his breathing and feeding tubes were removed and he was able to communicate effectively, he was all about convincing anyone who would listen that he was not a flight risk and if they could just take off the mittens and unstrap his arms he would be happy. One of the nurses decided to test that theory; he immediately tried to get out of his neck brace and pulled at his IVs. He offered a ton of great arguments though!

Once Matt no longer needed sedation or IVs, he was moved to intermediate care to await a bed in an acute brain rehabilitation facility. His vivacious personality, quick wit, sense of humor, and snark are turned up to 11, but they are intact.

On Wednesday of this week, he was transferred to the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Institute in Baltimore (Kernan). Our road to recovery begins now...

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