I ride alone. I ride alone a lot. And when I ride alone, I often think about what would happen if I crashed hard and needed help. This is a pretty serious fear of mine, and so far I’ve been fortunate enough that this scenario hasn’t played out.
Mike’s a mechanic at Wheat Ridge Cyclery here in Colorado, and I have it on good authority that Mike is a full on certified badass. Like, hop up on the podium at the Leadville 100 kind of badass.
I also have it on good authority that Mike’s a damn good guy.
That’s why I wanted to share his story with you and hope that you might donate to the cause. Here’s what went down, according to his girlfriend. If you want the short version, let me tell you: Mike went for a ride and crashed hard. Mike went home and had a stroke, and was luckily found by his roommates in time to get him to the hospital. We all know how wonderfully our insurance system works in this country, so Mike’s in need of some financial help to get him back on the bike. We’d all want that if we got into this sort of mess, wouldn’t we? Don’t forget what it’s like to have a functioning mind and body that lets us roll on whenever we want to. Throw a buck or two at Hoff to help him ride again.
Anyway, according to Mike’s girlfriend:
Saturday, October 12th, 2013, Michael Hoffman was found by his two roommates, crawling up the stairs from his downstairs room. He was sweating profusely, incoherent, and could not walk. The whole right side of his body was badly bruised and bleeding. His roommates did not know what was going on, so they rushed him to the nearest hospital. At the hospital Emergency Room Doctor’s and Nurses did a CAT scan on Mike’s brain to determine if he had suffered a bad head injury, being the avid mountain biker he is. The bruising and scrapes on Mikes right arm, leg, knee, ankles and back are likely from a crash on his bike. Since he was unable to speak, he could not tell us what happened. The CAT scan revealed that Mike had suffered a severe stroke. He likely fell on his bike and possibly whiplashed his neck. The whiplash created a Coratid Artery, thus causing a clot to his brain. Since no one knew how long Mike had suffered from the stroke the doctors decided not to put him on a blood thinner called Heparin. The Heparin could either stop the blood clot in his brain or make it bleed more.
At 4 am, Mike was moved from the ER to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, where he spent the next week under close observation. Mike could not speak for the first two days that he was in intensive care, but his face showed extreme signs of pain. He could barely sleep because the pain in his head was so intense.
By day three he was able to say yes and no. Mike was asked if he rode his bike Saturday. Yes. Did he ride with anyone else? No. Did he crash? Yes. Did he have a bad enough crash that he should’ve called 911? Yes.
The second day, the neurologist calls for Mike to have an MRI of his brain to see if the blood clot had gotten better or worse. The MRI showed signs that the clot was larger than expected and covered almost all of the left side of Mike’s brain. The neurologist put Mike on the blood thinner Heparin. Twelve hours after Mike was given the Heparin drip, he receives a CAT scan to check the status of the clot. Results came back and the Neurologist immediately took Mike off the Heparin, for the clot had remained the same, but now his brain is hemorrhaging. The Heparin had made his brain bleed even more and increased his risk of another stroke. Mike in more pain than before, couldn’t take anything for his headache or the severe muscle spasms in his legs, because any pain medication would thin his blood further and make matters worse. When his mother and girlfriend asked the neurologist what could happen if the Heparin didn’t leave his body right away, the doctor replied that Mike would no longer live. The next 24 hours would be crucial to his survival.
During the first two days Mike could not move the right side of his body. His right arm and leg were numb and unable to move. On the third day he was able to wiggle his right leg a bit.
Day four, his right leg had a bit of strength to lift it about 4 inches.
Day 7 and Mike is released to a rehabilitation center, right outside of Denver. He will reside in the live in facility till his Neurologist releases him. In the rehab facility Mike receives 3 hours of therapy six days a week, Sunday he rests and has only 1 hour of therapy. He receives speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
By day 15, Mike is walking on his own. This is amazing since his right leg barely moved without the aide of him moving it with his left arm right after the stroke.
Day 16, and Mike is eating and drinking normal foods and liquids. He is walking on his own and speaking more and more each day. His right arm is getting stronger, he is able to wiggle his fingers and lift the arm slowly. Mike is scheduled to leave the rehab facility on November 11th, and will be flown home with his mother to aide in his recovery. He will have outpatient therapy 4 days a week. We are unsure of the timeframe for the recovery process, but we are all extremely hopeful and know Mike will pull through. Throughout Mikes journey to recovery he has always cognitive of his surroundings and what is going on. He has had so much support and love from all his friends and family.
On a side note, Mike is a bike mechanic at Wheat Ridge Cyclery, in Wheatridge, Colorado. He loves his job and can’t wait to go back to the shop. He is an avid cyclist of at least two decades and loves riding his single speed mountain bike. This summer he raced his single speed in the Laramie Enduro as well as the Leadville 100.