Motorcycle Crash Alters Life Course

Motorcycle Crash Alters Life Course

He did everything right, from wearing a motorcycle helmet to slowing down when the traffic on Interstate 75 was coming to a standstill because of an accident up ahead. Even so, Bonita Springs resident Luke Crandall ended up with severe physical and brain injuries during what was supposed to be a normal February night in 2006.

Luke was in the far right lane, when a vehicle in the left lane swerved over and hit him, knocking him off the motorcycle. The impact was so great that his helmet was later found several feet from his body. His injuries included a broken jaw, broken bones in his legs and a serious brain injury, known as a diffuse axonal brain injury, as well as a left basal ganglial bleed that later caused his right arm to contract. He was flown to The Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Collier Sheriff, Corporal Bence, started rescue breathing before the helicopter arrived. At The Trauma Center, a nurse named San, and Sarah from physical therapy worked very long and exceptionally hard to help Luke.

I don t remember any of it, Luke says. Now, at age 27, Luke is still working to recover from his injuries.

I had to relearn everything, like a little baby, he says. Some things came more quickly, like learning how to eat and walk. Others, like counting change and retaining long-term information, are taking more time.

When the crash first happened, the doctors thought if he lived, he would be in a nursing home, says Luke s mother, Jo Bordonaro. Most people don t do well after having the kind of brain injury he had, but his sister Jacquie and I couldn t give up.

Jo started keeping a diary of her son s progress a few days after the crash. She wrote in the journal for several months, chronicling his progress. Some days were better than others. It was an emotional and financial drain, but it was worth it, Jo says. I didn t give up because I didn t want him in a nursing home.

Luke eventually progressed to a rehabilitation unit, and then recovered enough to go home. Jo credits many of the staff at Lee Memorial Hospital with Luke s survival. So many people helped him, she says.

Respiratory therapist John Campbell helped Luke with simple tasks, like swallowing and taking in enough oxygen to breathe correctly.

My No. 1 goal for Luke, and for all my patients, is to get them back to being an independent person, John says. Someone like Luke is in a lot of pain and doesn t take in oxygen correctly. We try to get people breathing again. I m glad to have helped.

Luke continues to improve, seven years after his crash. I don t have a motorcycle anymore, he says. I still ride my friend s four-wheeler but now I drive a car. I just want to live long and be happy.


“When the crash first happened, the doctors thought if he lived, he would be in a nursing home,” says Luke s mother, Jo Bordonaro. “Most people don t do well after having the kind of brain injury he had, but his sister Jacquie and I couldn t give up.”


The Trauma Center

Lee Memorial Health System is home to the region s only Level II Trauma Center, which serves more than 2,000 patients each year from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. Designated by the state, our Trauma Center has physicians, surgeons, trauma nurses and specially designed equipment available to serve our patients with immediate and lifesaving care. Trauma- certified staff, physicians, surgeons, specialists and subspecialists are available to care for our patients 24/7, year-round. A $4.4 million subsidy assures that patients have access to critical care when they need it most. Our Trauma Center also offers a variety of injury prevention programs. Call 239-343-3797 to learn more.

Trauma Facts

  • Every 4 seconds someone in the U.S. is traumatically injured and every 6 minutes someone will die from a trauma injury.
  • Nationally, trauma is the No. 1 killer for those between the ages of 1 and 44.
  • The golden hour is the first hour after a patient s injury. This is the most critical period within which the life or death of the victim usually is determined.
  • Motor vehicle crashes make up more than 50 percent of all trauma cases in Florida.
  • Since the Florida Legislature created the state s first trauma legislation in 1982, no consistent and sustained funding source for the trauma centers has been established on the state level.
  • In 1982, when Florida s first trauma legislation was passed, there were 50 trauma centers statewide. Today, there are only 22 state designated trauma centers operating in Florida.
  • The Florida trauma centers that have surrendered their trauma designation have done so due to the overwhelming financial commitments required to make a trauma center a clinically viable operation.
  • Lee Memorial Health System s Trauma Center is the only trauma center on Florida s Gulf Coast between Tampa and Miami.
  • There are more than 1 million residents in the Lee County Trauma Services District.
  • More than 90 percent of admissions to the Lee Memorial Health System Trauma Center in fiscal year 2010 were due to blunt force trauma primarily from auto accidents or falls.


Pelvic Fractures Often Traumatic


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