Mathieu (pronounce the same as Matthew) Vezies was a handsome and healthy high school graduate. About to head off to college, he was enjoying his freedom on a humid summer morning, doing what he often did: going for a bike ride. It had stormed the night before and he noticed a truck doing storm clean up. Then, all he remembered was pain – major pain.
The truck had hit him. He slid underneath. He remembers seeing the truck drive off, but stopped after a block or two when the driver realized what had happened. A fire truck was there in “what felt like seconds”.
With major orthopedic trauma in his lower body, he was lucky to be taken to HCMC, a Level 1 Trauma Center. He endured several back and leg surgeries. He spent ten days in the ICU and inpatient care before being transferred to Knapp, the inpatient rehabilitation center. Bound to a wheelchair, he slowly began his recovery with drive and endurance. It was three months before he could walk.
Although he couldn’t join his new freshman classmates for his first semester, he added online classes to his rehabilitation schedule and joined them for the following semester. Mathieu has since graduated from Bemidji State majoring in environmental science and engineering. Healthy and happy, he has also graduated from needing rehabilitation. With that cheeky smile, handsome face and positive attitude, Mathieu has a lot to look forward to. He lives with a rod inside his femur, but knows how lucky he is and how tremendous his recovery has been.
“I have so much gratitude for the orthopedic surgery team including Dr. Templeman, the Hennepin Healthcare trauma team, and the staff at Knapp.”