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Cruisin’ Not Boozin’ shares miracle story at forum

About 30 students attended the kick off of Eastern University’s Alcohol Awareness week Oct. 3.

On that evening, there was a forum sponsored by Cruisin’ Not Boozin’, a program presented under the auspices of Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. The members of the program are all survivors or family members of survivors of incidents involving drunk driving or drug-related accidents.

The presentations are given in schools, churches, fairs and several other alcohol awareness programs.

The family of speakers here at Eastern were the Tarts–accident survivor Mike, his mother Barbara and father Charlie.

Mike and his parents spoke of what happened nearly 20 years ago when their lives were changed forever.

Mike was 22 years old in 1988 when he was in a car accident that pushed his car 100 feet down the road and practically bent the car in half.

“In one second, life as I knew it was erased,” Mike said.

He was revived three times on the way to the hospital. The doctors discovered that Mike’s lungs were punctured and bones were broken, and he had a severe brain injury that left him unable to remember anything, walk, talk or functionally do anything for himself.

After 10 months in the ICU, five months in a coma and 13 months in Bryn Mawr Rehab Center, Mike was on his way to recovery. Though it took four years, he overcame the doctor’s diagnosis and is able to both walk and talk. He has even earned his black belt in karate.

Now Mike volunteers at the rehab center and his church, goes to the gym five days a week and, through forums such as this one, teaches people the detriments of drunk driving.

Mike’s story is a miracle that awed everyone in the room. Though the numbers were few, the impact was great.

Carole Flounder, program coordinator for Cruisin’ Not Boozin,’ was grateful for the opportunity to be on campus with their message.

First-year Michael Miles, who attended the forum out of curiosity and interest in the topic, believes that everyone on campus should have heard the presentation. “Seeing the possible effects of stupid decisions can hit home and impact [students] on a deeper level than just watching alcohol awareness videos,” he said.

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