Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mike Tucker's Story

I would like to tell you about a friend of mine from work. His name is Mike Tucker.

In September of 1990 Mike did something that a lot of people do in their lifetimes. He made a very bad mistake. He got drunk and got into his car. While on his way to wherever he was going he, in his drunkenness, took a corner way too fast and hit the curb. In the seconds that followed his car became airborne and flipped over. Not wearing a seatbelt he was ejected from the car and struck a tree, crushed his right shoulder and twisted his spine. The hospital in Monroe Michigan decided that they couldn’t do what needed to be done for him and decided to Life-Flight him to the Toledo Hospital. While in transit he died.

At this point you may be wondering why his story is on this site which is dedicated to the better side of humanity and I would not fault you a bit for that assessment. Here we have a drunk driver. In this society this is one of the biggest taboos. Any of us might consider ourselves lucky to have not been the object that his car struck as it flew out of control. He might have killed any number of people in this tragic, completely avoidable and quite frankly stupid accident. But he got lucky, as did we, and missed the rest of us; otherwise the ending of his story might have been quite different.

So why is Mike on this site?

After being dead for nearly two minutes he was resuscitated but remained, for the most part, unconscious. Three weeks later, he briefly woke up in the hospital and was told by the doctors that he would never walk again. After several weeks more unconsciousness, arrangements were made to outfit his parent’s house to accommodate a wheelchair and he moved back home.

During the next two years his shoulder was reconstructed but being unable to move his legs he was still confined to a wheelchair. Feeling somewhat sorry for himself he began to push his friends and family away. Soon he had lost everybody. After all, who wants to sit around with somebody who is bent on feeling sorry for himself? He began to gain so much weight that the doctor asked him if he was trying to commit suicide.

Still wondering why Mike is here? Check this out… One day he was sitting by himself and had a realization, “I have NEVER given up on anything else before in my life, why start now?” And from that moment his life changed. He went back to school and learned electronics. He got a job and through many hours of hard work got promoted within the company to a supervisory position and in fact ran one of the company’s factories. After living with family members for a number of years he bought his own house and moved out on his own.

Impressive as it is for him to accomplish all of that, it is still not the reason that I put his story here. If I’m not mistaken I met Mike at work in late 1993. During the time since then I have never heard him utter a single word about how unfortunate his accident was. I have never heard from him a single word about him feeling sorry for himself or anything that would even come close to it. I have never heard him ask for help from anybody for anything because of his disability; save the occasional time when he can’t reach the top shelf. I have never once heard him curse his fate or even call himself disabled. In fact one time I was talking to him about another friend of mine who is on government disability and unable to walk and his quiet reply was simply “I don’t believe in disability, your friend isn’t trying hard enough.” Mike has never said anything of it other than what happened to him is completely his own fault and responsibility.

I know that if the rest of the people of the world had this man’s drive, his utter refusal to give up and acknowledge defeat when acknowledging defeat was the most obvious thing in the world he could have done, this world would be a much better place to live in. And that is why Mike’s story is on this site.

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