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Tucson man's recovery is inspiring 18 months after awful crash

Posted at 3:33 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 19:19:16-04

A Tucson man continues to inspire others as he makes an amazing recovery following an accident that could have killed him.

Dante Jones was on his way to the gym the evening of November 7, 2016. He was riding a bike through the intersection of Grant and Campbell when an SUV hit him. He was 19 at the time.

“I don't really remember the ride,” he said.

Paramedics brought Dante to Banner UMC. He had broken ribs, a deep cut from his back to his chest, a punctured lung, and a traumatic brain injury.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and being fed some oranges, my brother was giving me oranges,” Jones said.

While he was lucky to survive the crash, Jones’ future was uncertain given the severity of his brain injury. He spent a week at Banner UMC before moving to HealthSouth Rehabilitation to continue recovering.

His team of doctors, nurses, and therapists charted his recovery. The plan included physical and mental exercises to rehabilitate his body and mind.

Jones walked out of HealthSouth with the help of his family and support team a month after the crash.

“They’re super persistent and they want the best for you. They really care,” Jones said.

His doctor says Jones’ existing head injury now puts him at risk of greater brain damage if he suffers another one even if it is from a relatively minor concussion from a fall.

“Having a second [head injury] doesn't mean that your first one was erased. You didn't reset. That one adds up and it becomes like a logarithmic growth of injury,” Dr. Parmod Mukhi, HealthSouth Medical Director said.

 Jones says he continues to push himself physically and mentally. He was a University of Arizona student at the time of his crash but has missed a significant amount of school while he recovers. He says he eventually plans to return to school and earn a degree.

“There is no limit to what I can do,” Jones said.