Mike Mitchell, a former patient and current Brooks Clubhouse cook

Employees Who Make a Difference: Mike Mitchell

Beyond Magazine

Dec 11, 2019

This article was originally published in our Fall 2019 Issue of Brooks Rehabilitation Beyond Magazine. Subscribe online.

In 2006, Mike Mitchell suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident that left the right side of his body broken and his brain bleeding in five places. After four weeks in a coma, Mitchell woke up to the fact that he had to rebuild both his body and his brain “I had such great care and compassion from everyone while I was at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital and in the Brain Injury Day Treatment Program,” he says. “It changed my perspective on life.”

Mitchell worked in the food industry before his accident and was asked to supervise the kitchen when the Brooks Clubhouse opened in 2008. He now extends the same caring and compassion that he received to Clubhouse members. He is the perfect person to do so because he understands what it’s like to live with a brain injury. 

While in the Day Treatment program I learned that my brain injury will never go away so I have to figure out a different way of getting there and getting things done. That’s what I bring to our members,” said Mitchell. 

He shared the story of a young man who was trying to sharpen a knife in the kitchen. He told Mitchell he couldn’t because he only had use of one arm. Mitchell showed him a new way.

“I tell the members ‘don’t tell me you can’t do something. You’re talking to the wrong guy. Tell me you’ll try. I’ll help.’ And if someone truly can’t after trying, that’s ok too. I tell them to do their best and that’s good enough. No one has ever let me down. 

The best part of Mitchell’s job is the feeling of satisfaction at the end of every day. “Not a job well done satisfaction. I had that at all my past jobs. But the satisfaction that I am truly helping make a difference in someone’s life.”


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