'I should be dead': Dad's miracle escape from NYE nightmare
MICHAEL Clarke walked into his Wurtulla home for the first time in two months yesterday after knocking on death's door.
The first-time father overcame impossible odds after he came off his motorised skateboard in a New Year's Eve nightmare.
He doesn't know how it happened, but he was "flipped off" and suffered a "catastrophic severe" brain injury.
He had no helmet, no phone, no wallet, and was found lying on the road utterly helpless as a real life 'John Doe'.
Emergency services raced him to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, where staff quickly transferred him in a critical condition to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
Doctors told him it was the most aggressive cranial injury they'd seen in 35 years.
If he survived, he was likely to wake up with the mental capacity of a six-year-old.
"The hospital does believe it was a miracle. One on the recovery, one on the speed (of it)," Mr Clark said.
"My brain pressure spiked to 40. Standard pressure is six, danger level is 12.
"I woke up from being at the beach (so he thought) to having family all around me after being on life support. I panicked.
"I can't really remember it but they had to put me in restraints. I had this warrior instinct come out."
Hospital walls have been Mr Clarke's new norm for the past two months, with brain rehabilitation done at the Princess Alexandria and then back on the Coast.
Mr Clarke had presented in a deep coma, of which half of patients either die or end up vegetated.
His partner Cynthia has been by his side the entire time.
The bleed to the frontal lobe caused post traumatic amnesia - a quick fire indication to its severity.
Sunshine Coast University Hospital rehabilitation specialist Dr Neala Milburn first met Mr Clarke on February 11.
"This is in the extremely severe category out of extremely severe cases," Dr Milburn said.
"His rehab couldn't start straight away due to the amnesia. That's how severe it was.
"He couldn't learn new memories, couldn't remember morning to afternoon - we had to re-teach him everything.
"The most likely outcome for someone in his position is that he has a permanent disability. But he made a phenomenal recovery."
Mr Clarke said it was like the first day of school all over.
"Realising I had these serious injuries was very daunting, it took a month to come around," he said.
"I had a lot of neurological testing at first and then therapy. It was really challenging.
"But I am blessed, I had the right people looking after me from the word go."
Yesterday, Mr Clarke was discharged and returned to his home some 65 days after that fateful ride.
He astonishingly has few lasting side affects - hole in the head aside.
Had he of worn a helmet, this episode might have been prevented.