24-year-old bounces back after traumatic brain injury

Male doctor wearing white lab coat with arm around male patient

“All he did was put me back together,” 24-year-old Andrew Miller told The Florida Times-Union of neurosurgeon Stephen Scibelli, MD, of Memorial Hospital.

Miller spent more than a month in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the HCA Healthcare affiliate in Jacksonville, after he suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a motorcycle crash last November. Dr. Scibelli was among the many physicians and nurses who cared for him.

“We were told he had a one percent chance to survive,” Miller’s mom, Stacie Hamilton, said. “But I decided I was not going to lose my kid. I knew he was going to fight to get through this, and I wasn’t giving up hope.”

“Andrew’s determination impressed the entire team and still does to this day,” said Dr. Scibelli, who serves as chairman of neurosurgery at Memorial Hospital. “His strength, determination and will to get better are truly what helped him beat the odds.”Male hospital patient holding onto stand as nurses help him stand up

Dr. Scibelli explained to News4Jax that Miller was in bad shape when he first arrived. He believed his young patient had a diffuse axzonal injury, one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury, and a major cause of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after severe head trauma.

“His MRI showed significant damage and we knew it would take a tremendous amount of will power and effort for him to pull through, given these types of injuries,” Scibelli said.

Today Miller is walking, talking and writing. He even participated in a 1-mile challenge walk organized by his rehabilitation center last Saturday, completing the course in 21 minutes! (His goal was 30 minutes.)

Although he has improved dramatically, he is still suffering from a brain injury.  According to the Brain Injury Association of America someone in the United States sustains a brain injury every 9 seconds.
Man wearing a medal after finishing a 1-mile challenge walk
But Miller doesn’t let his condition slow him down. He and his family want to give hope to others and let them know they’re not alone.

As for Miller’s miraculous recovery?

Dr. Scibelli says that he and his team did the easy part. Miller did the rest.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, designed to educate the public about the incidence of brain injury and empower those, like Andrew, who have survived. Memorial Hospital is a part of HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic Division

HCA Healthcare 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA Healthcare celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA Healthcare’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.

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HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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