Nick’s Story

Nick Schaller
Motorcycle Crash Survivor

October 9, 2015

It was a nice fall day. I was riding my motorcycle with a buddy. Well, we never made it to where we were going. I don’t remember how I wound up in the ditch, or being taken to St. Luke’s, or the three weeks after that.

The doctors told me I had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and that I had been in a coma for a few days. I also had injuries to my legs as well as some cuts and scrapes.

It was a long recovery. In the weeks and months that followed, I underwent speech, occupational and physical therapy. Brain injuries can take up to two years to heal from, and after that, it’s about finding workarounds to make life easier.

Apparently, while I was in the hospital, I was somewhat of a difficult patient. I kept wanting to get out of bed and walk down the hall. I’m grateful for how much the doctors and nurses cared for me, even with the extra challenges I presented. I’ve gone back to thank them for what they did since I left the hospital.

After my accident, my biggest goal was to get back in the Army National Guard. My doctor told me that it was unlikely I’d ever be able to return to service given what happened. That gave me the ambition I needed to work hard. And, a year later, the military welcomed me back with open arms.

I was also advised to take a year off from everything, and I did. But a year and a week later, I was hired as an automotive lab assistant at Lake Superior College. I love it. I get to use my auto maintenance skills and my brain.

I’ve been back on a motorcycle since my accident, but now I wear a helmet. I’m not going to let that accident keep me down. I love life too much.

Meet Nick’s
Doctors

Brandon Hankey, MD
Emergency Medicine

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Brandon Hankey, MD
Emergency Medicine

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John Bollins, DO
Trauma Surgeon

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John Bollins, DO
Trauma Surgeon

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Joseph Martinelli, MD
Critical Care & Pulmonologist

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Joseph Martinelli, MD
Critical Care & Pulmonologist

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Samuel Laney, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehab

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Samuel Laney, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehab

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