Here is another in our continuing series about things going on around Rochester.
The slopes of Swain Resort were busy on Saturday, March 8 as skiers worked to fit in a few more ski trips before spring begins in earnest. However, few of these visits were as impressive as that of Mike Jorgenson, who was made his way down the mountain for the first time in years. Formerly an enthusiastic skier, this activity is now only one of many Jorgenson is relearning as he recovers from a two-year coma.
On March 18, 2008, Joregenson was mugged after leaving his job at a restaurant in Las Vegas. Nearly beaten to death, his body was discovered by a stranger who called 911. He was transported to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he eventually underwent five surgeries to combat bleeding and swelling from his brain injuries. Hovering in and out of a coma, he communicated with loved ones by blinking and squeezing their hands. However, even when the infections and complications that threatened his life had passed, doctors informed Jorgenson he would never walk again.
Upon returning to the Rochester area, the 1977 Canandaigua graduate refused to accept this prognosis. After spending five years in a wheelchair, he began attending appointments at Greater Rochester Chiropractic this past October. Designed to treat health problems affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system-which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons- chiropractors use spinal adjustments, manipulation, and other techniques to help patients manage various conditions. However, Jorgenson’s response to this treatment was surprising: within a month, he was able to move around with a walker. By January, he was walking without assistance, a feat that caused his chiropractor, Dr. Leslie Lange, to nickname him “the miracle man.”
Jorgenson credits much of his success to his attitude and determination. While he says he still has a long journey ahead of him, he was able to make his first ski trip to Swain through Shared Ski Adventure, a program that helps disabled people enjoy the slopes at the resort. With luck and hard work, this visit will hopefully only be the first of many as this “miracle man” continues to improve.