Mathieu Vezies' Story

"Yes, you can say part of my recovery is that I am young and have strong bones. But you can't say it wasn't a difficult journey anyway."

Mathieu (pronounced the same as Matthew) Vezies was a handsome and healthy high school graduate. About to head off to college in the fall, 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 endured several back and leg surgeries. He spent ten days in the ICU and inpatient care before being transferred to Knapp. 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 is studying environmental science and engineering at Bemidji State. Healthy and happy, some online therapy is the only rehabilitation he still needs. 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 HCMC trauma services, the orthopedic surgery team, and the staff at Knapp."