Matthew Knox | CaringBridge

Matthew Knox Matt Knox

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Matt, a young and vibrant 23 year-old, who loved "playing in the dirt" as a heavy equipment operator, was involved in a wreck on April 24, 2016. He sustained multiple injuries at the time from the severity of the crash. He lost control of the car, it flipped end-to-end and he was somehow ejected from the vehicle. Fortunately, he was the only one involved. He was rushed to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh and was on life support. The extent of his injuries at the time were: cervical fracture, broken ribs, lacerated kidney, collapsed lung, and adiffuse axonal injury, a type of brain injury often referred to as a brain shear, which is the most devasting of all. He was in a coma for three and a half weeks and after a tracheostomy he thankfully started to come out of it. He qualified for the Neuro care unit at WakeMed and made amazing progress there. They immediately started him on rehab therapies...OT, PT and Speech. Then, from Neuro Care he went to the Rehabilitation Hospital to continue a more rigorous and intensive therapeutic program. He relearned how to walk, eat, swallow, speak, and we are thankful for these miracles everyday. I have to say, too, that the staff at WakeMed are awesome! Discharge finally arrived on July 13, 2016. It is now September 2016. While the physical injuries have healed, the brain injury is still a work in progress. We continue to go for outpatient therapy a couple of days a week through the Day Treatment Program. Memory is a big issue for Matt, especially short term memory. I am glad to say that he remembers his childhood and the joys of growing up in the mountains near Asheville, NC, but more recent memories of things he's done the past few years, even who his friends are, are sketchy. Probably the hardest thing for us has been watching him struggle with the grief of relearning who in his life has passed on. On a recent visit to my inlaws house, he started walking back to the bedroom to find his papaw while asking, "Where Papaw? Is he still asleep?" My mother-in-law stopped him, touched him on the arm and looked in his eyes, "No, Matt", she said, and after a  long pause,"he's at peace". He wept for five minutes. Now, our days are filled with follow up doctor's appointments, OT, PT, and Speech therapy, either at home or at the hospital, and outings that stimulate the senses. It might be shopping, it might be lunch, it might be a trip to see family or friends. I'm trying everything to help him grow new connections in the brain. Unfortunately, it all takes money. I have been on a leave of absence from my teaching job since April and the paychecks my family has depended on are disappearing. I hope someday to go back to work, but all the doctors say that it takes about 6 months to a year to know what you're even dealing with when someone has a brain injury like this. So, I will be posting ways that you can help. Please check back! Thank you so much and God bless...

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