Those that survive an intense car crash can face months of rehabilitation towards a life that will be much different than the one they used to lead.
“(Mike) is getting better every day but he is quite confused sometimes," said his girlfriend Nela Rudicka, explaining that it will be six to twelve months before his true mental state is known. “We are not sure how he is going to be or how much he remembers."
Mike Mashkevich, who recently turned 25, lives in Marlborough and is a Senior Programmer Analyst at the Staples Corporate Office in Framingham and Stonehill College alumni. He was one of two passengers in an accident that sent three to the hospital, with Mike making the trip by helicopter to UMass Worcester. The other people in the car were released from the hospital shortly after while Mike remained in a coma.
He has come out of the coma and begun three months of rehabilitation for his speech and memory, said Ridicka. He is doing much better, recognizing people and having conversations. There was a huge amount of relief when he first came out of the coma, she said.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
"When he started whispering after two weeks in a coma it was amazing. After three weeks he started remembering his voice,” said Ridicka who explained that Mike is now able to follow conversations for much longer thanks to daily work with doctors.
After finishing this first part of his rehabilitation, he will need to complete the final surgeries relating to his fractured wrists, elbow, pelvis, leg, hip and injured bladder. His full recovery will take at least six to twelve months.
Mike is a very good tennis player, said Ridicka, with a United States Tennis Association 5.0 rated player of Central Mass League plays in the Men's A League from Wayside Racquet & Swim Club and is also member of Sudbury River Tennis Club.
He will not be able to play again to that level because of the damage especially to his right wrist, said Ridicka.
"Some of his bones were missing and were replaced with metal. They say he will not be able to play. But as we all know him, he will still be back to play,” she said. “He will play somehow."
Friends and supporters have put together a tennis round robin fundraiser this Friday. The fundraiser is being coordinated with an online auction to cover the costs for Mike and his parents, who live in California.
“He has a lot of friends that are supporting him and a lot of people are working to help him and support the family,” said Rudicka who wanted to thank everyone for their continued support.
Even as people work to support Mike, it is he who has been supporting all the loved ones around him, she said.
"Mike is in pain and he is the one telling us it will be ok. The other day he told me and Jessie to stay strong," said Rudicka. “When he was only half alert and aware, he told us to stay strong. He is the only giving us the strength and the faith."
More information about Friday's tennis fundraiser is available here while a donation page has been set up for Mike and his family here.