Falling from Ladders
by Ric Johnson
(Minneapolis, MN, USA)
In October 2003 I fell off a ladder, when cleaning gutters, hit my head on my driveway's concrete slap and then the ladder fell down & hit my head as well. I was taken to HCMC (Hennepin County Medical Center) in Minneapolis MN, and placed into a medically induced coma.
I had a few surgeries, one of which the doctors needed to remove a piece of bone from my skull; a tracheotomy; one hyperbaric chamber session; and many, many, many CAT scans. Spent a month in HCMC, a second month in a different hospital trying to "wake up", the third month in another hospital with cognitive, speech, occupational and physical therapy.
I went back home in January 2004 and started outpatient therapy at the Golden Valley Courage Center. My sessions were 4 days a week, 1 hour long, back to back. I had family, friends or volunteers with me 3 days a week so my wife could be at work.
In February 2004 I went back to HCMC and had another surgery (on my birthday), but this time the doctors put my bone into my skull. As the year progressed I was able to start working my daily job again but with less hours because of the therapy sessions. In June I passed my driving test, told my "volunteer drivers" thanks, but I will not need your services anymore. It meant that I could work more and more hours. Thanks to all my therapists I went back to work full-time in September 2004.