Life Happens first met Mike Sizemore in 2015, three years after a drunk driver hit him while he was crossing the street and his life changed forever. We captured his story as part of our Real Life Stories program—at the time, he was still recovering from the accident following countless surgeries. Fortunately, he had disability insurance when he needed it most and could continue paying his bills and rent while he was unable to return to work.
We recently had the opportunity to follow up on Mike’s story and see how he’s doing now, more than a decade after the accident.
Life Happens: What’s one moment that changed your life?
Mike Sizemore: A decade ago, when I was 27, I was hit by a drunk driver while I was walking across an intersection. I was so badly injured—fractured skull, separated shoulder, shattered legs—that doctors weren’t sure I’d live.
LH: How was your life different?
Mike: The accident changed my whole outlook on life. I was in critical care for months and then spent another year and a half learning how to walk, talk and function all over again. I was at the start of my career, which looked so promising, and suddenly I was unable to work.
LH: How did disability insurance help?
Mike: It’s been a financial lifesaver. It replaced a significant portion of my income when I couldn’t work at all. And with my traumatic brain injury, I’m still not able to work full-time. So, it supplements my income, allowing me to live a full life. My fiancée and I just bought a house, and I’m able to give my son the childhood he deserves.
LH: What’s your advice to others?
Mike: Don’t think that it can’t happen to you. It comes down to the simple fact that if you work and rely on your income, you need disability insurance.
Simply put, disability insurance is for anyone who works. Your everyday expenses like bills, groceries and rent payments still pile up even if you can’t work, and medical bills from an illness or injury can make things even worse financially. Disability insurance provides you with a percentage of your income if an illness or injury prevents you from working and earning a living, just like it continues to do for Mike eleven years after his accident.
You can read more about Mike’s story here.