A Major Accident Nearly Killed Me and Killed my TV show, Marketing Made Simple TV, too.
This is what happened to me and I thank all my relatives and friends, as well as Find New Customers clients, for the many kind words. Your support was invaluable. I also want thank Scott Cerniglia, Store Manager for Best Buy in Westbury, NY - a heck of a nice man.
I have no memory of any of this until my recovery was well underway.
On April 1, 2014, my iPhone rang. It was someone from the Best Buy store in Westbury, NY, where I was working part-time and he asked if I could cover his shift. I told him I could.
I went into Best Buy Store 454 in Westbury, NY where I had been working. At some point, a customer was looking for a specific item, like a computer monitor, and it was not on the sales floor. Looking at the online inventory system, I saw we had several (let’s say five) but since they were not on the floor, they were in the warehouse behind the store.
I went into the warehouse and found the inventory on a high shelf. I then grabbed the ladder to push it over to the inventory. The ladder had a platform on top, so if I could put where I needed, I could grab the inventory from the ladder. But the ladder path was blocked by inventory left on floor pallets. The only way to get the inventory was to climb onto the shelf, walk carefully across it, pick up the inventory and carry back to the ladder. I have done this many times.
But this time walking across the ladder something happened. Perhaps I blacked out and fainted, but I fell from the high shelf onto the concrete floor. I was badly hurt, with a cracked skull, a nearly torn off right ear, two broken vertebrae, and a broken rib that had punctured a lung.
After some time, one of the employees wondered what had happened to me and went into the warehouse and found me unconscious on the floor. a He told a manager, who thought at first “What a bad April Fool’s joke.” But once he found me, he called 911 and soon an ambulance arrived and took me to intensive care at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY.
For weeks, I was unconscious and barely alive. I got pneumonia in both lungs. I never moved my leg. They put me into an induced coma for two weeks. My former wife, Kathy, and mother in law, Barbara, stayed with me all night. I was so close to dying that a priest came in and administered Last Rites to this Catholic graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
I was even on a respirator for weeks - was not breathing on my own. Eventually the doctors argued over removing it - with some thinking I could breath on my own and others thinking I would die. The ‘remove’ advocates won - and once they disconnected, I started breathing on my own.
After more than a month, on May 5, the doctors installed a “halo” a heavy contraption that prevents me from moving my neck at all while my spine heals. I ended up wearing this device for 9 full weeks - 24 hours a day. I even had to sleep in it. (The smile in the photo never left my face, greatly impressed the nurses, doctors and patients.)
On May 30, two men in uniform came into my room and told me they were going to transfer me to Southside Hospital, an acute brain care facility. This is the first memory I have since my accident. The trip in the ambulance was painful. Every bump in the road hurt me a lot.
At Southside, I started doing physical therapy - exercise for people in health care. It is amazing how weakened muscles get when not used. But I worked hard at Physical Therapy always willing to take on a challenge. In fact, when I struggled to walk up six steps - I told the instructor I wanted to increase it by one each day.
For a long time, I had to stop and rest for some time, but by the end, I walked up 12 times without stopping.
I was only at Southside for two weeks and then moved to Glengarriff Health Care Center in Glen Cove, NY - sub acute brain care facility. Very nice looking and super clean facility, where I had a lot more Occupational Therapy (like getting into and out of cars) and Physical Therapy (Getting your lower body stronger.)
Gradually I moved rom transportation in a wheelchair, to walking with a walker, to walking with a nurse, to walking on my own. My hard work in therapy was working. I was alive.
I got rave reviews from everyone - they were amazed that a man challenged in so many ways could always be happy, smiling and never complaining.
On July 9th, I met with the neurosurgeon Dr. Cohen who reviewed the Cat Scans and Xray and removed my halo for the first time in 9 weeks. He said “Jeff, your neck is going to be very sore and you should get some physical therapy on it.” He was right and he gave me a neck brace to wear.
Needless to say, I was out of pocket from April 1st to mid July.
- My business website Find New Customers had expired and needed to be e renewed.
- The domain of the popular TV show, Marketing Made Simple TV, had expired and someone purchased it - so it was lost.
- My business email firstname.lastname@example.org had also expired, so I’ve been trying to get it working again.
Unfortunately, after 25 years of marriage it was ended, so I and the business moved to Florida, the Sunshine State. I flew to Tampa on July 19th.
Marketing Made Simple TV
We’ve had a lot of wonderful guests on Marketing Made Simple TV, including Daniel Pink, Guy Kawaskaki, Joe Pulizzi and many other. I also once invited Robin Williams to be a guest on the show but he was too busy, so I’m very sorry that he took his own life and I will never have him on the show. Rest in peace, Robin.
I also want to thank Watchitoo for providing a great tool for the show and to Craig Yaris of SocialRibbit for directing the shows.
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This blog is written by the award-winning marketing expert Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor - President of Find New Customers. You can follow me on Twitter at @fearlesscomp