By Cuthbert Langley, American Red Cross
Michael Hill’s name may not sound familiar to you, and his name may not grab much attention. His story, however, will.
In April 1998, Hill was stabbed in the head with a 10-inch serrated knife, left to die. Now, nearly a decade later, sitting inside the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas after fleeing the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, he recounted the days following that horrific event and subsequent miraculous recovery.
Surviving such an injury meant newfound fame: his name was suddenly everywhere. At first, it was a local television news station interested in his story.
“The second person that called was the Maury Povich show. The third to call was Oprah Winfrey,” Hill said.
And then, the Guinness Book of World records called, verifying that the knife in his head was the “Largest Object Removed from a Living Human Skull.” A dubious distinction that had Hill’s record-setting injury broadcast all over the media.
Earlier this week, Hurricane Harvey flooded his home in Port Arthur, TX. The memories of his life-altering experience are now under feet of water and mud. While his infamous title endured the storm, he now found himself with nowhere to live, and nowhere to go. That is, until he came to the Red Cross-supported shelter in Dallas on Thursday night.
“You people out here have been so polite to me,” Hill said. “I have some troubles sometime, but I’ll make it. I like it here. I just don’t know what I’m going to do. All that furniture. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Concerned and overwhelmed, tears ran down his face as he worried about his future. He doesn’t know how, or even when and where, he will rebuild. But following a helpful conversation with two Red Cross Disaster Workers, Hill signed up to take advantage of many services provided in the shelter, including FEMA assistance. He’s been able to charge his cell phone, too, to keep in touch with his son and daughter who live out-of-state.
He’s also accessed the medical services provided at the shelter, an essential need for Hill. Ever since the attack, he’s relied on several daily prescription medications, as he suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.
“To have the courage and the means to come and do what you do here, you may not know it right now but that’s a gift God has placed in you,” Hill said of the nearly 3,000 disaster workers on the ground in Texas and Louisiana.
The Red Cross stands committed to helping Hill and thousands more who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. To learn more about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Harvey, and how you can help, please visit www.redcross.org.