Michael Sizemore can open his eyes for a while, and he can squeeze a hand when prompted.
“That is very promising,” said his father, Mark Sizemore.
Michael “has come a long ways, but he’s got a long ways to go,” said Mark Sizemore. He added that his son’s miraculous strides are due to the “prayers, the overwhelming love and the support” of family and friends.
Michael Sizemore, 27, of Collinsville, was struck by a car Sept. 28 while walking in Arlington, officials there have said.
He was put into a medically induced coma after the accident due to a fractured skull, authorities said.
Sizemore said his son has two broken legs but is unable to have surgery until other health concerns are minimized. He also is being treated for bacterial pneumonia, his father added.
“His brain injury is the number one thing they are dealing with,” Sizemore said, noting Michael has had surgery to reduce the swelling in his brain.
Though he is “still under a lot of sedation,” Sizemore said, his son “has started to respond.”
For instance, he now can open his eyes for a little while, and his eyes sometimes move when he is looking at others, Mark Sizemore said.
Also, he has “given a little bit of a hand squeeze” when prompted, his father said, adding that the medical staff at George Washington University Hospital is optimistic.
But this is not a battle Mark is waging alone. His friends have decorated the wall across from his bed in his ICU room with photos and mementos of their times together, and written words of encouragement and support. The family also has received many cards, letters and other communications, his father said.
Mark has received autographed items from the Old Dominion University baseball team, for whom his cousin plays, as well as the Virginia Tech football and baseball teams, his father said.
“His friends have worked hard to fill the room with as much love and positive energy as possible,” Sizemore wrote in an email. “It is immensely touching to see the guys sitting here holding his hands, talking to him and constantly encouraging us. They fill his room when the more lenient nurses allow, and they file in three at a time when others are more sticklers for the rules.”
Friends and family use words such as “tough and tenacious” to describe Michael, and they say that “if anybody could come through this type of thing, he could,” Mark Sizemore said.
Michael will face many hurdles, and “this is a very long process. This is something we’ve been told you can’t measure hour to hour or day to day,” Sizemore said.
“It’s kind of like you look back a week or so and say, ‘Wow, he’s come a long way,’” he added.
“I give God the praise and the glory for how” Michael has done so far, Sizemore said.
Sizemore said he and his family are grateful for each card, letter, posting on Facebook and other forms of well-wishes, as well as his and his wife Susan’s church and work families.
The couple has been “adopted” by Calloway United Methodist Church in Arlington.
“From day one, they have fed us both literally and spiritually,” Sizemore wrote. “Members arrive almost daily with hugs, prayers, sandwiches and snacks.”
Sizemore said he and his wife arrived at George Washington University Hospital within eight hours of the incident.
“It was very scary. ... He was hit very hard” and had “a lot of bruising on his face and a broken bone in his cheek,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore said he and his wife both work at Piedmont Community Services in Martinsville and attend Smith Memorial United Methodist Church in Collinsville.
“We are holding up okay,” he said, “only by the grace of God.”
Michael works as a lobbyist with the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards (VACSB) Inc. near Richmond, according to previous reports.
A Maryland man has been charged with DUI and DUI maiming in connection with the incident, authorities have said.