Fall Season of Miracles - I can walk and see!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with U.S. Financial Funding, LLC

The POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul group gives you the opportunity to share the miracles in your life during this fall season with a creative writing challenge . Join in on the challenge with the  FALL SEASON OF MIRACLES CONTEST | Positive Attitude for the Weary Soul Group 


On July 4th, 2009, I was enjoying fireworks with my family.

On July 5th, 2009 I went through a freak accident.  I was parked in my driveway and had to get out of my SUV to get my family.  When I stepped out of the car and closed the door, it started to roll backwards.  I immediately opened the door and jumped in to stop it (my son was in the car and was 12 at the time), when it rolled off of the driveway onto the grass thus bouncing me out of the vehicle because I was not firmly in the seat when I tried to hit the brake with my foot.

Unfortunately, as I was bounced out of the vehicle, my foot got stuck between the brake and the floorboard as I was hanging upside down out of the SUV.  So here I am hanging out of the SUV, going backwards, heading for the neighbors house.  I thought to myself that this was really going to hurt as I went through my neighbor’s house and rolled into his kitchen.  Somehow that didn’t happen and the SUV turned and rolled straight down the hill.

As my head was constantly banging on the ground, we rolled down the hill, behind the house with the door slamming into me.  I was run through the metal fence in the back yard, and impaled.  This action broke the back of my pelvis and freed my legs only to have me somehow land my lower half under the SUV and the other half was still impaled on the fence.  I looked to the left of me to have what I call a “Matrix moment”.  You know, in the movie, when a gun is fired and you see the bullet in slow motion and you see the swirls of air from the bullet being fired. 

As I looked to the left, it appeared as if time slowed to a crawl – I saw the vehicle roll over my midsection as I screamed “NOOOOOO!” and it seemed as if it were an eternity when the realty was split seconds.  There are some sounds that you can hear within your head and wish that you didn’t.  The crushing and breaking of my bones was one of those sounds. I was entirely conscience through the entire ordeal until after that moment.

I died three times that day and underwent three separate surgeries (that day) over 15 ½ hours.  I was paralyzed from the neck down for almost 7 days while in ICU.

My pelvis was broken clean through in 4 places with the right side crushed.  My stomach was ripped open and I was partially disemboweled, my right leg was stripped to the bone from the knee to my groin and they knew that I experienced some head trauma, but could not figure it out.

Finally I was moved to a regular room, no longer paralyzed from the neck, had improvement, but no use of my legs.  Over the next month in the hospital and an operation almost every other day, I was released in August. 

I have springs and coils running through my stomach and intestines and my pelvis is wrapped in Titanium with 6 large screws drilled into my bones.

I spent the next 6 months unable to walk and living in a hospital bed in my basement with a wheelchair as my means of transportation when I could get in it.  I was on an IV every day and had to give myself shots in my stomach twice a day because of being sedentary.

The doctors told me that I may not be able to walk again and that there was a chance that they would have to remove my right leg because of damage and massive infection.  My attitude from the onset of the accident was that I was happy to still be here, so when the doctor informed me about my leg, I said to him “You have excellent prosthetics, right?”  He about cried and could not believe my positive outlook.  I explained to him that I could bury my head in the sand and cry or be happy that I’m here and be a father to my 3 kids and a husband to my wife.

Well, they were able to save my leg and I am proud to say through much pain, hard work and perseverance – I am on a cane after 2 years.  I spent over 6 months in a hospital bed living in my basement, then over 6 months on a walker.

Last year the head trauma that I know that I experienced reared its ugly head.  At first I started getting dizzy and then falling down unexpectedly (not that falling down is expected at all!).  After that I started to experience blindness and having massive seizure-like symptoms that lasted up to an hour, 15-20 times a day.  The doctors now don’t call them seizures, but spells because my brain patterns don’t change and I can fully hear and understand what is going on around me, I just cannot move or react.

I found myself hospitalized again, this time for over 3 months.  I was blind almost ½ the day, for almost the entire 3 months, I could not walk or do simple tasks like bathe or get dressed and I could not figure out simple things like change (money), and could not read when I could see. I knew what things were when I saw them, however, I could not figure out what it was that I was seeing. It was very confusing and frustrating at the same time.

The staff at the hospital spent 4 hours a day working with me and then I spent another 4 hours a day working myself. The rest of the day I spent resting from working so hard or passed out from the drugs that they were giving me.  The doctors, to this day cannot figure out exactly what is wrong, but have narrowed it down to say that they feel that I’m about 1 in 5 people in the world that have these issues. What they do know about it, they call it rare neurological disorder called Opsoclonus Myoclonos with Ataxia. There is so much more, however, I do not want to make this story longer than it already is.


I am much better now and I keep going through testing and trials, sometimes a week at a time.  It does get extremely wearisome, however, I never give up hope.  I will say, at times I feel like an Area 51 alien that they keep poking and prodding.  I do feel that if something doesn’t work, then the doctors have narrowed it down more. I am down to one spell a day and move forward because I have a life to live.

All through this, I have been able (with the help of my partner) to keep my business going.

Aside from the miracle that I am alive and am on a cane, the real fall miracle is that I am now taking steps without a cane and work on it each and every day.  My goal is that I will be able to walk without any aides by the summer.  I firmly believe that with faith, perseverance and persistence and a positive attitude – just about anything can be accomplished.  You just have to believe, not only in yourself, but just believe.

Not too bad given what I have been through.  I consider all that has happened to me to be a miracle.

 

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With Enthusiasm,

Jeffrey M. Richman

 

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Rainmaker
562,448
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA

Jeffery,

You are an unquestionable walking, seeing miracle. You really have a winner's spirit.

Best,

Steve

Oct 26, 2011 07:22 AM #1
Rainmaker
233,922
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Jeff: What an incredible story! You have displayed the kind of courage, dedication and positive attitude that people, including me, only dream about! Best wishes to your continued recovery. Love and prayers to you and your incredible family who have inspired you and been with you all along the way. I believe we make our own miracles and your response have proven that. I love the shirt!

Oct 26, 2011 07:22 AM #2
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Steve,

Thanks for sharing.  I've learned that you just have to believe...

Oct 26, 2011 07:41 AM #3
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Anne,

Thank you for your prayers to both myself and my family.  I know that I was the one that went through the accident, but they have all been through so much with me, that I know that it has been difficult for them as well.

I agree that many times we make our own miracles and I plan on not having to use a cane at all by next summer.

I love the shirt as well and it always brings a smile and laugh to those around me  :-)

Oct 26, 2011 07:45 AM #4
Ambassador
898,931
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jeffrey, your story is an unbelievable one, in an instant your whole life changed and yet you remained positive through the entire ordeal. And beat all the odds thrown at you. Wow is all I can say!

Oct 27, 2011 07:20 AM #5
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Andrea,

Thanks for commenting.  It's amazing how one's life can literally change in the blink of an eye!

My doctor said to me that it's amazing how many people give up and accept without reservations what has happened to them.  That it amazes him how many people he sees in wheelchairs that shouldn't be and I should, yet I'm not.

People give up to easily.  You have to fight for what you want and what you believe in.

Oct 27, 2011 08:04 AM #6
Rainmaker
635,088
Dawn A Fabiszak
Keller Williams Real Estate ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jeffrey ~ bless you and your family for what you have gone through.  May you continue to heal.  For all that you have gone through, you remain positive.  You truly are a man of strong character!

Oct 28, 2011 06:13 PM #7
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Dawn,

Thank you for your kind words.  Each day I work on getting better.  As long as I take 2 steps forward and only 1-1 1/2 back, I'm on the right track.

Oct 28, 2011 07:19 PM #8
Rainmaker
810,629
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Jeffrey - You have the most amazing attitude!  I can't believe what you went through.  You should consider writing a book.  I'll bet you would inspire many people who as you say give up when the doctors tell them the statistics.  What a fighter!  Congratulations on your fall miracle of being able to walk with a cane!

Oct 30, 2011 05:07 PM #9
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Gail,

Thanks for commenting.  I have a friend who said the same thing regarding the book and I said to her to go for it.

If what happened to me can be an inspiration to others - I'm all for it!

Oct 31, 2011 10:26 AM #10
Ambassador
1,476,513
Renée Burrows
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com

Oh my gosh you have overcome so much and I love the shirt too, LOL!

Nov 07, 2011 07:50 AM #11
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Renee,

At times each day is a battle to move forward, but I'm up for the challenge.

I'm glad you like the shirt, I wear it often because it makes a lot of people smile and break the ice, but my wish is that no one ever needs one!

Nov 07, 2011 08:26 AM #12
Ambassador
438,587
Deb "Alayne" Brooks
Alayne Brooks, Re/Max Elite Group, Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
940-500-4010 Wichita Falls Real Estate

Jeffrey! I'm so glad I read this! You sir, are an amazing man! Your story is gripping and filled with miracles. Thank God you are recovering so beautifully. You and your family had had a tough road but keep driving as you are and you may be running a marathon! I cringed reading the beginning and cried at the end. Which of coruse, is your new beginning! Loved it.

Nov 08, 2011 09:57 AM #13
Rainmaker
343,537
Jeffrey Richman
U.S. Financial Funding, LLC - Wesley Chapel, NC
The Unclaimed Money Specialist

Hi Deb,

Thanks for reading my story.  WHEN I run a marathon, I will let everyone on AR know and keep all informed.

You are right, I plan on being without a cane by next summer and actually want to be able to jog a mile.

BTW, your story is very inspiring and full of love.

Nov 08, 2011 12:40 PM #14
Rainmaker
794,123
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

God bless you, Jeffery.  What an amazing story.  Thanks for sharing your Fall miracle!

Nov 10, 2011 06:55 PM #15
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Jeffrey Richman

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