Wayne County man considered a medical miracle

May 17, 2017 06:06 AM

Doctors never thought a Newark man would walk again after he was hit by an SUV while riding his motorcycle on July 6, 2013. Nearly four years after the crash, David Murphy is doing the impossible!

Nikki Rudd spoke with Murphy at his home in an exclusive story you'll only see on News10NBC. Murphy remembered the day his life changed forever. 

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"I was numb from here (point to chest) down," said Murphy. "I knew I was dying. I could feel my lung filling with blood." 

Murphy was riding his motorcycle in Arcadia when a teen driver blew through a stop sign and hit him. 

"I bounced twice off the front of the car. I watched my leg explode," Murphy said.  

Murphy was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital where doctors weren't sure he would survive the night. He had a severe leg injury, broken ribs, fluid in his lungs and a complete spinal cord injury. 

"Did you think you were going to die," Rudd asked? "Definitely. There was no hope," said Murphy. "I just figured this is where it ended."

Dr. Robert Molinari is Chief of the Division of Spinal Surgery at URMC. He says Murphy's injury looked like something from the battlefield. His spinal cord was almost shredded, but Murphy's case is one Dr. Molinari will never forget. 

Murphy was in a coma for a month. He was told he had less than a 1% chance of ever walking again. Murphy's wife Tracy was by his side through the entire recovery. 

"One day I was like, 'C'mon wiggle your toe! Just wiggle your toe!' And then it moved!'" recalled Tracy Murphy.  

That was just the start. David Murphy refused to give up. Now - he's doing what no doctor ever thought he could. 

"He's the poster patient for hope in spinal cord injury," said Dr. Molinari. "This is nothing short of miraculous."

Murphy showed off how he can walk - usually with the support of two canes. 

"I think David is a perfect example of why you should always keep hope," said Dr. Molinari. "He's an amazing patient. A special patient." 

"You can do anything you put your mind to," said David Murphy. "I did it. That's because I put my mind to it and overcame it."

Next month, David Murphy plans to walk a 5K. It's to raise money for Laurel House - a new comfort care home in Newark. Murphy's record walk so far is two miles, and every step is a challenge. 

If you'd like to donate to the cause, click here for a link to his online fundraiser.


Nikki Rudd

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