Life can sure be unpredictable.
More than a month and a half after he left his home in Ohio to compete in the Top Fuel class on his turbo Funny Bike at the Man Cup Finals from South Georgia Motorsport Park, Mike Chongris has yet to make the return trip.
The positive, and perhaps miraculous, news is he is alive and improving everyday following his harrowing 197 mph crash into the left lane retaining wall just beyond the finish line.
Medics and first responders rushed to save Chongis life on the scene before he was air-lifted out of the race track.
After substantial improvement in December Chongris was transferred out of an ICU unit in Tallahassee, Fla. to a rehabilitation facility further south in St. Petersburg, Fla.
It’s early on, but we have a picture of year candidate.
For anyone who witnessed his horrifying accident, a picture of Chongris giving a thumbs up is nothing short of a joyous and miraculous sight.
“He’s progressing very slowly but he’s making progress,” Chongris’ brother Jim said. “He’s given us a lot of positive signs of recovery and I’m very thankful for that.”
Jim reported his brothers injuries to his hands, knee and eye seem to be healing up nicely.
“We were really worried about his optical socket. It looks much better and has really healed,” Jim Chongirs said. “His road rash and swollen knee are healing as well.”
Chongris said his brother is still somewhat confused and is displaying symptoms of someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. The family remains optimistic on the recovery.
“Right now it’s like the filing cabinet in his brain is all out of order,” Jim Chongris said. “We just have to work on putting everything back where it belongs.”
Jim says his brother is tentatively scheduled to be released Jan. 15 and he is hoping to get him back to Ohio as soon as possible.
“As soon as the doctors say he can get on a plane or ride in a motorhome we will bring him back,” Jim Chongris said. “I will drive down myself and get him.”
Jim has since returned to Ohio after spending a month in Florida with his brother Chris now staying in St. Pete with Mike.
The family wants to again thank the racing community for the incredible outpouring of prayers, thoughts, support and financial contributions to the GoFundMe that has raised more than $55,000 for Mike’s medical expenses.
“Thanks to everyone,” Jim said. “I don’t know what we can ever do to repay everyone. The support of the racing community has meant the world to us and we are so thankful Mike is still here.”