ANAHEIM, CALIF. (Jan. 16, 3 p.m. ET) — Plastics industry veteran Chris Mitchell finally left inpatient medical care in southern California on Jan. 16.
A major accident jarringly halted a Nov. 28 commute to his two-story Corona home. He was leaving an Anaheim, Calif., facility of custom injection molder C. Brewer Co., where he is a program manager.
Mitchell, on his 2004 Yamaha V Star 1100 motorcycle, collided with a construction van south of the intersection of North Tustin and East La Palma avenues in Anaheim about 5:15 p.m.
Emergency medical responders amputated Mitchell's lower left leg at the scene.
Hospital trauma and surgical teams at the University of California Irvine medical center in Orange dealt with issues relating to the amputation along with treating fractures of his left thigh bone and right knee cap, 13 broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Six surgeries were performed.
Mitchell was an inpatient at the UCI hospital for four weeks, UCI's acute rehabilitation center in Orange for two weeks and the Mirada Hills Rehabilitation and Convalescent Hospital in La Mirada for one week.
Mitchell is a past president of the Society of Plastics Engineers' southern California section and a former member of the Society of Plastics Industry's western region board of directors.
The U.S. Navy gave Mitchell an honorable discharge in 1998 after 20 years of service. Among his assignments, he managed and organized Seabee deployment operations with amphibious construction battalion one in Coronado, Calif.
While in the military, Mitchell received two degrees from the private National University school of management and technology: a bachelor's in operations management in 1996 and a master's in management with an emphasis on international business in 1998.
Over seven weeks, Mitchell and his girlfriend, Toni Kitagawa, have posted daily detail-filled entries on the www.caringbridge.com website about the extensive physical recovery processes and the related emotional roller coaster. Kitagawa is a physical therapy technician at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, and will care for him as he continues physical therapy en route to independent living.
A recent message said: “I ended up walking another 720 feet [and] then working my weights, steps and transfers.”