The story you are about to read is nothing short of a miracle. It outlines an amazing recovery from near death. A patient that not only survived but is thriving in recovery. Joe Matthews is a determined man who overcame a traumatic event with the support of his family, friends, and medical professionals.
Joe lived a completely independent life, racing and designing motorcycles for a living. While in Florida for a race he started to feel ill. He decided to go home early and began the trip back to Ohio. While driving, he blacked out and got into an accident around the Georgia-Tennessee state line. The accident nearly took his life and left his arm crushed.
The paramedics rushed Joe to a Tennessee trauma hospital where the doctors told him that they would likely need to amputate his left arm. He was also diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia which ended up being the cause of his blackout. Joe’s pneumonia was severe so they placed him on a ventilator. He stayed in the Tennessee hospital for about 60 days before he was flown by Med-Air to the Northern Kentucky/Ohio area. A group of 21 motorcycle riders met Joe at the airport and escorted him to the Select Specialty Hospital in Cincinnati, OH.
Joe continued to fight, dealing with many setbacks, including the pneumonia. His condition required a ventilator, trach, and feeding tube. When he reached a point where acute rehabilitation was the next step, many friends and family recommended Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital.
Joe arrived at Gateway and started seeing tremendous progress. He stated, “If I didn’t come to Gateway, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.” The biggest influencers in his recovery were his wife, Bert, his sons, Joe and Coy, his four grandkids, and the Gateway team. “No one ever gave up on me,” he said. Joe mentioned exemplary care provided by Dr. Wilshere, Dr. Mook, Jenni (OT), Jarrett (PT), Amy and Candice (nurses), Barb and Latoria (CNAs), and Michelle (DQM). “Everybody here at Gateway is great!”
Because of his hard work and determination to recover, Joe was able to reach higher levels of function. His doctors were able to save his left arm and he walked for the first time in months, over 200 feet at that! Happy to return home with his family, he looks forward to continuing on the road to full recovery.