One day at the time

Published 9:24 am Monday, January 28, 2013

MERRY HILL – Imagine surviving a plane crash.

Certainly it’s a great to be alive, but the long recovery will take its toll, as it has on Mike Taylor who survived one on Dec. 16, 2011. More than 14 months later, Taylor still has trouble walking and can’t be on his feet but so long each day.

Still, Taylor was recovering and working diligently to live his life one day at a time when his home caught fire on Dec. 30, 2012.

He escaped along with his son, who was living there to help him through his recovery, but medical bills had forced him to give up insurance on the property, leaving him footing the bill for the home as well.

Still, he isn’t giving up on life or taking a bad road to recovery.

“It’s concerning, sure, but the only thing I can do is try to take one day a time,” he said. “I try my best to heal up and get everything done. My frame of mind right now is when I get to it, I will get to it.”

When Taylor’s plane went down more than a year ago, it broke the bones in his face. He had to have his eye sockets rebuilt and his jaw and neck were also broken. He broke 17 ribs, his sternum and his left leg.

Of all those challenges, the one that has been the slowest to recover is the heel on his right foot.

It was more than six months before he could walk and even now he has problems getting around. He had an electric wheelchair for assistance, but that was lost in the flames.

Right now his right leg continues to give him trouble and is swollen to the point it will no longer fit into the boot that was made for him to use to get around with.

“It’s been a challenge,” he said. “I try my best to just do what I can.”

As he was recovering, a fire broke out in the back bedroom of his home. He believes it likely started when a lamp used to heat pet snakes kept by his son fell and caught fire.

“We do know the fire started in the area the snakes were in,” he said. “I couldn’t say exactly what the setup was because I wasn’t able to get into that area of the house because of my recovery.”

The fire gutted that bedroom and left the walls completely destroyed. Taylor said he wasn’t sure if the flooring would have to be replaced because he hasn’t been able to do the work necessary to the house.

The entire house still needs to be cleaned because of the fire, he said.

Taylor said he appreciated those who had tried to help. Community members organized a yard sale to help with medical bills after the plane crash and a couple of churches have sent money to help since his house burned.

Still, he is trying to get things prepared to get back into his home. He said that may take some time.

“I can only do what I can,” he said. “I try to take it one step at a time. I have to be able to heal before I can really work on the house.”

Taylor said he had some friends who had tried to help with the costs and the cleanup.

Anyone interested in offering assistance can contact Taylor at 252-339-4540.