Mike was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He was just a college student at Illinois State University when he was involved in a serious roll-over auto accident. He was riding home from work with a friend when the accident happened. Going 55 mph, the car ended up rolling over three times and left Mike clinging to life. It took about 45 minutes for the rescuers to cut Mike out of the car.
After 11 months, in four hospitals and two rehab facilities, Mike finally came home, but he has a long road ahead of him. Mike said it has been his strong family and a few close friends that have helped him during his recovery. They never gave up on him and that helped Mike never give up. Mike and his family don’t even take baby steps in the recovery, the steps are smaller than that. It is trying and taxing on them. All efforts are spent trying to help Mike recovery even a little bit more.
They focus on each little event as it comes and Mike tries to use humor to deal with his challenges. Mike’s positive attitude has been an inspiration to his family, but also to the nurses that took care of him and countless others who witness his will to go on with life and keep moving forward. Despite the challenges faced by Michael and his family, they have taken it upon themselves to educate others about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and help others understand the challenges faced by victims of TBI.
The Michael A. DeStefano Foundation was founded in 2009 to provide advocacy and assistance to families whose loved ones have suffered from traumatic brain injuries. With his mother by his side, they go around speaking about people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It helps a bit with their own healing and it is good for Mike to get out in front of others. For more information, visit: www.michaeladestefanofoundation.org
Below is a video of Michael and his mom speaking to speech therapists about TBI. The video is a bit long, but it really shows you the challenges faced by people like Mike and his family. It also shows their incredible perseverence.