John Beckman was attending a gathering of friends on his rooftop patio at an off-campus building near U-M in November 2016. He was talking to a friend, then leaned back to sit down and fell more than 12 feet, landing headfirst on the sidewalk.
He was rushed to the newly created Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation Emergency Critical Care Center at Michigan Medicine.
“John was extremely ill when he arrived on the unit. He had multiple brain bleeds, severe brain swelling, contusions in the lungs, and a burst fracture in his thoracic spine. He was not expected to survive without life support,” recalls Venkatakrishna Rajajee, MBBS, clinical associate professor of neurology, the neurointensivist who cared for Beckman.
John’s terrified parents raced from their home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Ann Arbor, fearing the worst.