My out of body experience (continued)

When I was in a coma, I was fed through a nasal gastric tube. Doctors informed my mother that they will keep it for 6 weeks. Once these 6 weeks had expired, they suggested inserting a peg into my stomach, to feed me through it.

This is a very invasive, risky, harmful and flat out dangerous procedure, because the risks of complications and infection far outweigh the benefits.

My mother is a scientist, she is a PhD in molecular biology. She is a very intelligent and educated person who spent years in research studying various micro organisms and their genetic systems. She was not convinced that such an invasive procedure is better for me than a non invasive nasal gastric tube. I guess she was devastated looking at my badly injured body covered with tubes all over and didn’t want to inflict more wounds on me.

Doctors in Flinders Medical Centre put the pressure on my mother to give her consent to allow them to install a peg into my stomach and feed me this way. She did not give her permission. She argued that once I wake up it will be much easier just to get the nasal gastric tube out and start eating normally. Some doctors laughed at this notion. They said I would never be able to eat and swallow normally. When mum asked how I managed to swallow my own saliva while in a coma, they had no explanation. Yet kept insisting on a stomach peg.

When the first 6 weeks were close to an end a little “accident ” happened. One evening when my mum had left hospital, nurses were turning me to massage my back and accidentally pulled the tube out. As it was late in the evening they had no choice but to insert a new tube into my other nostril. Hence starting the next 6 week cycle.

When the second cycle was close to an end I suddenly had a rather violent sneeze. The tube came out again. Once again this happened in the evening when my mother was not present. So no one could possibly blame her for manipulating with my tube.

They had to replace the tube and start another 6 week cycle. The doctors who were insistent on the peg feeding method were furious! They were bemused that these “accidents” had happened on a regular basis, seemingly “by design”.

Close to the end of the third 6 week cycle I finally regained consciousness and started eating normally (just like my mum said). Mum knows best! 🙂

Nickita later told me that he was responsible and somewhat “guilty” for these occurrences.

He is a joker! He did a lot of funny things with me.

To be continued…

My out of body experience

Before reading this, be aware that the following may seem paranormal, spiritual, out of this world or just plain weird. But for me it was and is real. I am not trying to convince anyone of any faith or belief. This is merely my experience.

Before my trauma I was neither spiritual nor religious. My mother was interested in spirituality. She was reading a lot of soul searching books and sometimes tried to discuss this subject with me. I would respectfully listen to her however the overall content seemed to be fantasy. I even laughed at her occasionally and felt superior.

After eventually waking up from my coma I was in agonising neuropathic burning pain. All I could talk about was asking to extinguish the fire in my arm. It consumed all my attention.

We tried all possible pain relief medications. None of them worked…

Mum tried to distract me and shift my attention to something else. So we started playing a word game. Where one person names any word and the other player has to name any word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. And you continue naming words in this fashion. You try not to repeat the same words.

Mum was astounded by my initial choice of words. They were: blood, lungs, messiah, cosmos, nazi, pain, dark, light.

Quite an unusual variety for a person who would struggle to remember the capital cities of Australian states.

Mum asked whether I remembered where I was whilst I was in a coma. I recalled being in a strange place. There were a lot of people, mostly elderly. I somehow knew they were all dying. I felt really scared and confused. I just wanted to go home.

A tall man approached me and told me that this is not my time to go yet. He said not to be scared, that I needed to be here for a while but I will be back with my family soon and will live a long life. His said his name is Nickita. He also said that he is my guardian angel. He even apologised for not being able to prevent my accident. He was too busy with his other ” clients”, as he calls them.

Nickita also introduced me to his family. He has two brothers named Anton and Alyosha and a sister named Lera. He explained to me that they are our ancestors and they look after our entire family.

Nickita visited me every day. At least I could sense his presence . I can describe it as a warm sensation in my heart. Like a feeling of calmness, comfort and love. It would ease my pain a bit, calm me down and help me get to sleep in the evenings.

Nickita told me that he saved my life on numerous occasions. That he was guiding the hands of surgeons who were operating on me.

On the day of my crush doctors discovered my right bronchus was severed and my lung was just hanging there. This is considered a fatal injury. There is only one other case in the world where a person survived such an injury. This is why doctors have no experience dealing with such a case. And this is why they told my family I would live 2 more days, at most.

Doctors thought the only chance to save my life would be to amputate my right lung and try to repair a hole in the bronchus. Mum gave her permission for the surgery to commence. All my entire family gathered at the hospital and the agonising wait began.

Quite soon surgeons came out and informed that they abandoned the surgery as they were not able to intubate me for the anaesthetic . Apparently the best anaesthesiologist of this hospital tried to insert the tube into my throat and had no success. He said that my torn bronchus was moving. They said there was not much that they could do to save my life and that my family should prepare for the worst.

Nickita later told me that he was moving my bronchus and preventing this surgery to go ahead. He said it would have killed me. I would have bled to death as the hole in my bronchus was too big to repair

When I eventually told my mum about Nickita she didn’t know what to think. Then she told me about an interesting series of events that occurred while I was in a coma that Nickita confirmed he was a part of…

To be continued…

The first phase of my recovery and rehabilitation.

When I was finally discharged from Flinders Medical Centre, it was clear that I wasn’t in much of a physical state to just go back home, AS MUCH as we had hoped.

Eventually, I was transferred from Flinders Medical Centre to Hampstead Rehabilitation centre, where I spent half of a YEAR surviving and just HOPING for progress and improvements.

My physical ( and mental ) status wasn’t exactly “ideal”, BUT their services and therapies were FAR from adequate.

I couldn’t walk because of SEVERE spasticity and cramping in my left limbs.

I had EXCRUCIATING neuropathic ” BURNING ” pain in my right arm, neck, shoulder blade and chest.

My memory was OFF, meaning I didn’t even remember what happened an hour ago.

ON TOP of ALL THIS, I had a stent in my right bronchus, holding my right lung open and fixed up to my body. This stent had complications, resulting in NUMEROUS hospital visits and Bronchoscopies.

I actually remember that during these bronchoscapies, just before I was put to sleep under the general anaesthetic, I silently hoped that I would soon awake in my bed at home, like this nightmare would end.

The same thing applies to when I went to bed each and every evening.

I just would NOT remember the previous day or what happened and where I was when I woke up either in hospital or Hampstead.

The next morning, I’d wake up to a blank slate. Starting from scratch.

Hampstead was by FAR the hardest and MOST difficult phase of my recovery.

The first steps towards some sort of normality were:

I started wearing normal clothes and not a hospital gown.

I began learning and getting used to sitting again.

I began learning how to transfer from bed to an electric wheelchair.

Because I ended up spending just under 5 MONTHS of laying in a hospital bed, immobile, my muscles had significantly atrophied, and I had SEVERE spasticity in my left limbs.

It was so bad, that nurses managed to squeeze a face towel into my hand to prevent my finger nails from digging into my palm.

My left elbow and biceps were so spastic that I would often awake in the middle of the night to find my left hand cramped and pressing into my throat, hence suffocating me.

I lost function in my right arm and hand because I had a brachial plexus nerve injury.

My left ankle was also spastic, whilst my right had very limited control, it was flaccid.

Although I was not paralysed, I had virtually no control over my limbs.

My vision was also impaired. My left eye was short sighted, whilst my right eye had suffered a nerve injury, resulting in no movement, rendering it crossed.

My brain couldn’t render two images, so it stayed closed.

My hearing was good, though, but I became EXTREMELY sound sensitive.

Any sudden loud noise would knock me out.

I would lose consciousness.

I also developed an incredible craving for food. I was always hungry.

This is a common consequence of being in a coma.

I completely forgot what foods I liked and disliked.

For example, I really hate Brussels sprouts.

But when they were served at dinner I would eat and praise how much I liked them and ask for seconds.

I was so mentally weak that I couldn’t have a prolonged conversation, I would just fall asleep.

If someone were to talk in my presence, but not directly to me, I would simply doze off.

I couldn’t laugh OR cry. These are higher brain functions and they were totally absent.

I’m writing this in such detail to show what the consequences of a severe Traumatic Brain Injury look like, and to tell others that it is indeed possible to rise up from such a devastating condition.

To be continued…

The VERY beginning of my rehabilitation and recovery.

I only vaguely remember the first year post accident.

The following is a description of what I went through;

I spent the first 3 months in a coma, being fed through a nasal gastric tube.

Initially, I required machinery to assist me with my breathing for the first month.

To save my life, I had the left half of my skull surgically removed in the first few hours after my trauma.

This operation is known as a craniotomy, it was carried out by a surgeon named Tom Morris and it SAVED my LIFE.

Due to the rather violent knock to the head that I suffered, I had numerous facial fractures, a concussion, contusion and a diffused brain injury, including a subdural haematoma ( bleeding in the brain ), brain swelling and bleeding in the skull.

The prognosis and opinions of doctors in Flinders Medical Centre were grim, at best.

DEATH or LIFE in a vegetative state, a coma, with machinery breathing for and feeding me.

I spent about 3 MONTHS in a comatose state, however, something VERY special, important, unbelievable, awe inspiring and just straight forward FANTASTIC happened in late November 2011.

My one and only older brother, Ivan, spent HOURS upon HOURS for WEEKS on end, sitting by my side, hopeful and praying, asking me to show ANY kind of sign that I can hear and comprehend what he’s saying.

On one MARVELLOUS day, Ivan sat by my side and began his routine of:

” Dimitri, if you can hear me, show me a sign. ”

” I know you can hear me, please respond. ”

” STOP pretending and mucking around, just ANSWER me!!!!! ”

Finally and at long last, I poked the very tip of my tongue out.

Such an impressive action obviously caused INTENSE exhaustion and I then did not respond for some time.

From there, I began showing my tongue more and more often, as if I was becoming stronger.

Eventually, a speech pathologist came and assessed my mental capacity.

She asked me Yes-Or-No questions. I replied by either poking my tongue out for ” yes ” and doing nothing for ” no “.

I couldn’t speak because I had a tracheotomy tube.

A couple examples of the questions that I was given:

” Is the ceiling below the floor???”


” Does 2 + 2 = 5? ”

I would answer EVERYTHING correctly, however, I would eventually become mentally fatigued and stop answering because I simply just fell asleep. Mid conversation. Nice…

Actually, the first signs of awakening began rather soon.

I started squeezing my mothers hand but not at her request.

Doctors dismissed this, describing it as a spinal cord reflex.

One day, my mother gently brushed her fingers across my eyebrows AND they wriggled.

Facial muscles are innervated ABOVE the spinal cord, so this CANNOT be a reflex!!!!

Doctors again dismissed it as a random twitch.

I ALSO have a blurred memory of the various sounds in the ICU.

The beep beep beeping of various machinery.

The KKKKK-SSSSS-CHCHCHCHCH of breathing apparatus.

The gentle, soothing and sorrowful voice of my dearest mother pleading and begging me to wake up.

I was eventually regaining consciousness.

Waking up from a coma is a frighteningly slow and gradual process.

In my case, I may have already been awake, conscious, hear and comprehend but I just could NOT respond in ANY way.

I was fortunate that I was able to breathe on my own.

The ventilator was used to help my injured lungs to heal, therefore, in my case, there was no question about switching me off life support.

It’s frightening to think how many people have been switched off life support, NOT given a chance to regain consciousness.

The lesson that my family learned is: ” NEVER give up hope, NO MATTER WHAT doctors say, hold on to you love, hope and faith. “

My experience of being in a coma

I was in a coma for 3 months.

Before my motorcycle accident, I often wondered what it feels like to wake up from a coma, when time has seemingly flown by in a single blink.

Whether my coma was medically induced or natural, I was unconscious for 3 MONTHS, laying in a vegetative state.

I honestly just do NOT remember a single thing from laying in a hospital bed with machinery feeding me and helping me breathe.

Doctors told my family that my future will either be laying under a tombstone or life in vegetative state, a coma, being fed through a tube in my stomach.

To my families joyful surprise, I eventually showed the tip of my tongue to my older brother. He spent HOURS upon HOURS sitting by my hospital bed, asking me to show my tongue or wriggle a cheek or just show ANY kind of sign that I understand and comprehend what he was saying. He did this in the hopes and faith that I’d eventually respond.

Then, some TWO MONTHS later, on one marvellous day, I finally DID stick the tip of my tongue and responded to my families prayers.

When I eventually regained consciousness, it was just CHAOS

My living nightmare

When I finally awoke from my coma, I was AWFULLY confused.

Because of my diffused brain injury, I initially had a 5 second memory span.

A couple chaotic MONTHS passed and I eventually remembered that I was in Hampstead rehab centre, although each and every single day felt like a bloody nightmare to me.

My accident happened on the 14th September 2011, some 3 months before my 19th birthday.

For the 6 months I spent in that God-Forsaken centre, I thought that I was still in year 12 of high school and that I was STILL 17 years old!!!!!

EVERY SINGLE day felt like a nightmare to me, like some sort of chaotic bad dream.

I COULD NOT wait to get to sleep every evening, because I assumed I’d wake up at home the next morning and go to school.

When I was still in Flinders Medical Centre, after I awoke from my coma, my dearest mother thought up and started repeating this mantra;

Motorcycle Accident Hospital Trauma Not your fault

She repeated these words several. HUNDRED. MILLION. times a day for the better part of 3 MONTHS.

My story

6 year anniversary of my crash…

The 14th of September 2011.

On this day 6 whole YEARS ago, at around 4PM, my life changed dramatically. I was on my motorbike, a Suzuki GS500, going home from University. I should’ve driven straight to my family home in Sheidow Park, but for some unknown reason, I turned onto Flinders Drive where disaster struck.

At a T intersection, a car didn’t give way to me off of the leg of the T and I had a head on collision with the bonnet of this car. I flew over the bonnet. My bike exploded. I was lucky in the sense that this happened next to Flinders Medical Centre, where I had several life-saving surgeries within the first few hours of my trauma.

Because I was transferred from ICU to a ward, it was clear that I was in my own coma, and not a medically induced one.

After I eventually awoke and regained consciousness, it was apparent that I wasn’t in much of a physical status to just go back home.

I was transferred to Hampstead Rehabilitation centre, where I spent half of a YEAR surviving and just HOPING for progress and improvements.

I couldn’t walk because of SEVERE spasticity and cramping in my left limbs.

I had EXCRUCIATING neuropathic ” BURNING ” pain in my right arm, neck and chest.

My memory was OFF, meaning I didn’t even remember what happened an hour ago.

After spending approximately 6 MONTHS in Hampstead, I had eventually progressed to a physical state where my dearest mother eventually took me home.

This is when my rehab actually STARTED, when I finally started progressing, improving and recovering.

Since that day back in early August of 2012, I’ve come quite a long way!!!!!

I’ve also flown to Melbourne for a unique lung surgery back in December of 2012.

My therapies involve physiotherapy and acupuncture at Back in Motion in Prospect, a home visiting Occupational Therapist and a Speech therapist.

After spending just under 2 years of practicing my walking with a special “Gutter Frame”, I eventually felt confident and mainly capable enough to ditch the frame and walk around the house with just a waist belt for support and insurance.