Member Spotlight – Jeff Howe

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Member Spotlight – Jeff Howe

President, Northeast RegionMember Spotlight – Jeff Howe, President, Northeast RegionOld National Bank 

Do it today, tomorrow is not a guarantee.

For Jeff Howe it was the perfect day. Ahead of him was a relaxing motorcycle ride to Hamilton, Ohio, to join his wife, Brenda, at a family gathering. For the next two hours it was just the road, the sun, the sky and a gentle breeze. Anyone who rides a bike knows exactly the kind of day we are talking about.

As Jeff neared the end of his journey, cruising the rolling country road, he slowed to make a left turn. Then he heard the car approaching quickly from behind him skid for only a split second.  

Jeff remembers, “It was one of the days I decided not to wear a helmet. The one fortunate thing is that when the car hit me, I was thrown upward and stuck the car before landing on the pavement. I was lucky not to have been thrown down the street, so my face and other skin weren’t affected.

”After receiving a call from his daughter, who stopped at the accident scene, a family friend quietly removed Brenda from the gathering and helped her to the site of the accident.  

Arriving at the emergency room, it was initially determined that Jeff had some severe bruising and bleeding but that the prognosis was promising. Brenda left the unit for a short time, only to be greeted upon her return with news that additional scans of her husband had revealed more serious injuries and that he was being transported to a trauma center in Dayton, Ohio. It was there that they learned that his brain had been injured and was bleeding. He would spend the next few days in the trauma center’s intensive care unit.

Later, after his release and arranging to see trauma specialists closer to home at IU Methodist hospital, Jeff began to experience severe pain in several areas of his body.

He recalls, “I said to the doctor, ‘I know I’m very fortunate here and don’t mean to complain, but I’m really hurting.  Is there anything we can do?’”

The doctor ordered an MRI and the results were alarming. Jeff had developed several blood clots in his injured leg. This determination, along with the pain in his chest and ribs, gave alarm that the clots were moving and could threaten his life. 

“The doctor said, ‘You’re going to need to get out of bed two or three times a day and walk to help dissolve the clots. So, Brenda helped me make torturous trips down the hall every morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening.’”

As the pain increased, more MRIs showed that Jeff had nerve damage and a fractured tibia and fibula. He had been walking on a broken leg. His blood pressure sky rocketed due to the continued pain and stress his body was under.

As it often does, time has made the difference. Jeff has benefitted from the care of his many doctors, the love of his family and the prayers of many friends and acquaintances. His pain is being managed while his body is recovering with the help of physical therapy.  

Jeff remarks, “Over time though, we heal. Our bodies, our minds, our emotions all heal. I may walk with a limp right now and may not be able to do some of things I’ve done in the past, but this experience has sharpened my perception that tomorrow isn’t a guarantee. If you want to do something for someone, do it today. If you need to make something right with someone, do it now. Live like there’s no tomorrow.”