By Craig Day, The News On 6
BIXBY, OK -- An Oklahoma teacher injured in a car wreck faces a long road to recovery. But, he's thankful this holiday season to be alive. And, he's grateful for the tremendous support he's received from his students in the past month since the crash.
Mike Shimp was driving along 21st Street near Harvard when suddenly, another driver, with a suspended license and without headlights on, crossed several lanes of traffic and hit him head on.
"Broken left ankle, broken elbow, broken right ankle, broken wrist, broken kneecap, spleen laceration, and nerve damage to my back," said vocal music teacher Mike Shimp.
After 11 days in the hospital, three surgeries, and lots of painful, sleepless nights, Shimp is on the slow road to recovery. The hardest part has been not being able to play with his 18-month-old son.
"My husband is such a good father and they wrestled and played and ran around together and that's very hard to not be able to do that," said Mike's wife, Mandy Shimp.
Almost as hard is missing out on teaching his vocal music students at Owasso's 6th Grade Center.
"I'm very blessed to be at my school and I love my kids," said vocal music teacher Mike Shimp.
During his recovery Mr. Shimp isn't far from the hearts and thoughts of his students and coworkers. With gumballs for sale and other fundraisers, students have raised more than $1,200 to cover lost income and to pay for medical expenses not paid by insurance.
"We've got kids bringing in piggy banks. We've got kids babysitting and bringing in half their stuff to Mr. Shimp," said teacher Tracy Darst.
The family says the thoughtfulness and support is humbling.
"It's been completely overwhelming," said Mandy Shimp.
"I get emails from people I don't even know, that you're in my thoughts, you're in my prayers. And, it's not only the school that has been doing things, it's the community of Owasso and not just the 6th Grade Center, but the entire school system," said Mike Shimp.
Shimp faces 12 weeks of recovery at least six more weeks in a wheelchair. He hopes to make it to his students' December 11th Holiday Concert. He hopes to be back in the classroom as soon as he can.
"I just can't wait. They make my day," said Mike Shimp.
Mr. Shimp Is expected to be able to play the piano again once he recovers. A fund for the Shimp family is set up at RCB Bank in Owasso.