Church parking lot pileup leads to Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center
It wasn’t the sermon that Sunday morning last July that brought Mike Allee to his knees – it was the three-car pileup in the church parking lot between services.
“I was a pedestrian in a three-car wreck,” said Allee, who credits therapists at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center (PNRC) with his recovery after the accident left him with life-threatening injuries.
Allee was standing between two parked vehicles, helping a retired pastor unload boxes of books when a third car slammed into the two cars, crushing the 68-year-old Maryville man.
“It was the result of someone losing control while backing up in reverse, hitting one car which hit another car,” Allee said, adding that the pastor escaped injury.
“The worst and scariest” of Allee’s injuries was a traumatic brain injury that bled for about three months. There was also a compound fracture of his right femur, a crushed left ankle that required five screws and a metal plate, a torn rotator cuff and a trauma-induced cataract in his right eye.
He spent 10 days in the hospital before being transferred to Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “I had orthopedic needs, but I also had this brain problem with confusion. So after 10 days I ended up at Patricia Neal, which was the perfect place because their staff was used to dealing with both.”
Allee spent almost two weeks at PNRC, undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapy two or three times a day. “I worked with multiple therapists in each of those areas,” he said. “That’s one thing you can say about that facility – in each of these areas of expertise, they have multiple people. I might not personally remember all of the names – or any of the names – but I do remember the faces and the care I got. I probably wasn’t the best patient, but they didn’t let that affect their drive to excellence to return me to normal.”
After discharge, Covenant HomeCare provided in-home therapy. “It was a continuity of care that worked out very well for me, Allee said.” He hopes to be 100 percent by next fall so he can return to coaching or refereeing a middle school soccer team that he enjoys. In the meantime, he says it’s his job “just to get well.”
“So many of my fellow church members have helped me in so many different ways,” Allee said. “I learned a lot about grace. God was definitely looking after me. Coming right out of church and helping a former pastor? Of course I was in good hands!”