As you most likely know, Mike Franklin was in a grizzly motorcycle accident about six months ago that left him in a coma with a shattered ankle, broken leg, shoulder, and neck. The doctor’s were 90-percent sure they’d have to amputate his leg, ending his skating career. In an incredible twist of fate, one of the doctors found out Mike was an amateur skater, implemented a decades’ old muscle flap procedure, and not only saved Mike’s leg, but made it possible for him to walk and skate very soon. We just caught up with Mike on the phone today to get the latest update on his health, his desire to return to the board, and an inspirational phone call from one John Cardiel. Check out some of Mike’s most recent footage before the accident, then read on.
Interview by Blair Alley, video courtesy of World Industries
Where are you at in your recovery right now?
It’s going pretty good, I’m about a month away from full walking status. I’m on one crutch and I’m just waiting for the bones to fully heal. I’m doing a bunch of physical therapy and just trying to get all the movement back that I can.
What did you break exactly?
Oh, shit. Alright, shattered my ankle and broke the tibia and fibia in my leg. Then I tore all the arteries completely out of my foot. They had to take an artery and a muscle out of my left foot and put it into my right foot. And I broke my shoulder and I broke my neck.
You broke your neck!?
Fractured both sides of my neck.
It’s pretty wild, but it’s actually healed up pretty good.
So the foot is taking the longest?
It’s a waiting game, another month or two and it should be strong enough to walk on.
Tell the story about the one doctor that found out you were a skateboarder and stopped what might have been an amputation.
When I first got to the hospital, once they found out I was gonna live, the first thing they told my parents was that they had to amputate my leg. My foot was pulse-less for two hours. My parents and friends had put my World Industries poster up on the wall of my hospital room and a doctor walked in and was all, “Oh, he skates!? That’s so cool. You know what, I’m going to save his leg. I’m gonna try my best, I can’t guarantee it, but I’m gonna do what I can.”
That guy worked some miracles somehow. They used a practice from like 30 years ago that hasn’t been used in a while, they take a muscle flap from one leg and put it in the other and that’s what saved my leg. I kind of owe that guy a bunch (laughs).
What did John Cardiel say when he called you up?
That was the best thing ever. I don’t remember anything from the hospital really, except for like the last three days, but when he called me, I remember it word for word. My mom told me I had a phone call, I answered it, and he was like, “Hey Mike, It’s John, John Cardiel.” Right when he said that I almost dropped the phone out of my hand. Like yeah right, there’s no way, who is this? “No, it’s Cardiel. I heard what happened, I’m calling to make sure you’re all good and telling you to keep your head up and get through it.” I talked to him a little bit about it and that was the motivation right there that no matter what the doctors said, I was like “f--k it,” I gotta get back on my board and skate twice as hard.
Sick. How much longer until you’re back on?
Not too much longer. It’s been six months and the doctor told me I’d be walking in a month or two at most so, shit, when he tells me I’m walking, I’m f--king skating. I don’t really care what they tell me. I can’t wait for the day it happens.
You gotta come down to our skatepark.
Yeah, I got the TransWorld app for my iPhone and I look at that thing at least once a day and I see all the footage of your skatepark, it’s pretty cool shit. I wanna give the Athlete Recovery Fund a shout out. Aaron Cooke and those guys came out of nowhere and raised a bunch of money for me and that’s what’s paying for my physical therapy.
World Industries has been amazing through this whole thing. When I was in the hospital I was thinking, there goes everything, I’m kicked off for sure. To my surprise, everyone had my back so hard. World has been nothing but help and kept me motivated, they’ve helped immensely, it’s insane.
That’s good to hear. Thanks for this interview.
Of course, man. You know I’ll be out there soon shredding the hell out of that park. Don’t even trip, I got it.