Michael in the hospital

Meet the Sloan Family

Michael Sloan is defying odds. On July 11, 2014, he was swimming with 20 other children when he was found unresponsive in the water.  Michael had drowned in only two feet of water.  He was deprived of oxygen for nearly seven minutes and, as a result, suffered an anoxic brain injury and multiple strokes.  Michael was resuscitated by responding EMC’s and was rushed to the nearest children’s hospital where he was placed on life support.  But as long as Michael remained on a ventilator, his brain could not heal.  He needed to breathe on his own.  After consulting with their doctors, Michael’s parents decided to give their son a fighting chance – they pulled the plug on Michael’s life support and prayed.  Immediately, Michael began to breathe on his own.  “He shouldn’t be here,” explains Michael’s mom Timberly.  “He is a true miracle.”

Now eight months after the accident that nearly claimed his life, Michael continues to recover with the help of a rehabilitation program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.  When he is not at the hospital, Michael is at the Ronald McDonald House with his family and other children receiving medical care for an illness or injury.  “Being here gives a safe and warm environment for our children to be able to play with other children and not feel different because there is something wrong with them,” explains Timberly. “They can feel normal.”

Michael has come far in his recovery, but he still has a long road ahead.  He has to relearn basic motor skills like moving his body, eating and talking.  Michael’s younger sister, Katelyn, enjoys being at the Ronald McDonald House so she can help take care of him.  “She told us since Michael is her big brother and he taught her everything, now she gets to be his big sister and teach him,”Timberly says.  “And once Michael gets better he can go back to being her big brother again.” 

Michael receives support not only from his family and friends at the Ronald McDonald House, but from the Vanderbilt University community.  The Sloan family lives near the University and are football season ticket holders.  Over the years, Michael has become part of the Commodores family.  Now the Commodores are cheering him on. “We take care of ours, and that’s what Michael Sloan is,” explains Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason. “He is one of ours.”

Follow Michael’s story on Facebook at:www.facebook.com/M1CHAELVANDYFAN  

Since beginning the day rehab program, Michael has regained upper body movement
and is more aware of his surroundings. He loves to smile and laugh!