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Man on Long Road to Recovery after Being Struck in Clarendon

By Katie Pyzyk - ARLNow.com

Friday - 12/7/2012, 10:10am  ET

The man who was hit by a car while walking in Clarendon two months ago is making progress in his recovery, but there’s a long road ahead.

Just yesterday (Thursday), 27-year-old Michael Sizemore underwent another surgery to re-attach the section of skull that was removed to alleviate pressure on his brain. The accident had left him with a variety of serious injuries including a fractured skull, two broken legs and multiple lacerations. After being struck, Sizemore was in a drug-induced coma for days to give his brain time to heal. Sizemore’s father, Mark Sizemore, says yesterday’s surgery appears to have been successful.

“The injury to his brain was right above his left ear where the skull fracture occurred, and that’s your speech center,” Mark said. “The majority of the injury has affected him of course cognitively, and in his speech center. He is recovering his cognition and his speech is getting better every day.”

Doctors predict it will take about a year for Michael to rehabilitate his speech and his ability to walk. Mark said it seems as though his son understands what happened to him, but his focus is simply on getting back to living his life.

“Michael just wants to get back to living, is what he tells me. He’s not so much focused on what happened. I think that will come later,” Mark said.

Once he fully recovers, Michael is determined to return to his job as a lobbyist at the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards, which advocates for organizations that help people with developmental delays, substance abuse problems and mental health issues.

“He tells me that almost every single day. That’s what we’re trying to work towards with his rehab,” Mark said. “I think he’ll do it. I think he’ll rehab to the point where he can get back to that job. That’s what drives him.”

Mark says his son and the rest of the family don’t harbor anger toward Tyler Bruce Wills, the man accused of striking Michael. They believe that justice will be served in due time.

“He realizes it’s really a random event that happened to him,” Mark said. “Michael is not looking for revenge against this person, he’s looking for justice to take care of that.”

Meantime, Wills remains in jail on charges of DUI and DUI Maiming. Wills waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for last week, and awaits trial. Police say due to results from the alcohol test and multiple witness accounts, the evidence against Wills is quite strong.

As for Mark, he credits the doctors at George Washington University Hospital with saving his son. That’s where Michael was taken immediately after the accident, and where he had his surgery yesterday. Mark said the situation could have turned out far differently had the hospital and its head trauma experts not been nearby.

“Thank God it was there, because they saved his life,” Mark said. “If my son had not been close to that place, he would not have lived. It was a miracle.”