Nurse survives 'horrific' crash, family struggling to get by

Nurse survives 'horrific' crash, family struggling to get by
Source: Cooley family
Mike Cooley (Source: Cooley family)
Mike Cooley (Source: Cooley family)

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A VA nurse from Chesterfield needs help after a horrific crash on Beach Road on Wednesday left his body battered and broken.

Cindy Cooley says while it's a miracle her husband, Mike Cooley, made it out alive, his fight for survival isn't over yet.

"The video that my parents took and the pictures that they took were just horrific," said Cindy Cooley.

As a nurse, Cindy Cooley has seen accidents like this before, but when she found out just who it was behind the wheel:

"My whole world changed on Wednesday...his whole world changed on Wednesday," said Cindy Cooley.

Mike Cooley is a Navy veteran who spent a decade helping others as a nurse at the VA Hospital. Now he's in need of critical care.

"It knocked him out of his seat belt, pinned him under the dashboard and his feet up in the air," said Cindy Cooley. "I just don't understand how in the pictures, there was a 200-pound man in that mix."

Cindy Cooley says Mike Cooley has "eight broken ribs on the left, six broken ribs on the right, a collapsed lung...He has multiple skin lacerations, he has a left humerus fracture that needed fixing."

Despite that, she has reason to be grateful.

"He is of sound mind. That's about the only thing that's not broken at this point," said Cindy Cooley.

Cindy Cooley says Mike Cooley was on his way home Wednesday on a windy stretch of Beach Road, when he swerved to avoid an oncoming dump truck. After trying to correct, Mike Cooley lost control of his car and collided with a tree head on.

It took 30 minutes to cut him from the wreckage. Chesterfield Police are still investigating the accident.

"The tears just flowed...through all of that, he survived. Unbelievable," said Cindy Cooley.

Mike Cooley is now looking at several months of surgeries and rehabilitation at Chippenham Hospital.

"This is going to financially devastate us," said Cindy Cooley. "He's going to be in the hospital for a long time and then transferred to an inpatient rehab."

Cindy Cooley is getting by with support from those around her.

"He's had several visits from doctors, nurses, friends, and he has a huge support system," said Cindy Cooley. "I want to thank God for allowing me to keep my husband."

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