HUBBARD - Second Lt. Aaron Globeck had been planning to go to officer training when a motorcycle accident on Belmont Avenue interrupted his plans in July 2012.
"He suffered a TBI, traumatic brain injury," said his mother Brenda Newlin-Globeck, "He did have all his gear on, he had a helmet on and everything."
Aaron, now 23, also fractured his skull, broke his left humerus and was in a coma for two months. Brenda - herself a critical care nurse at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center - said that had it not been for the new protective gear Aaron was wearing, the accident would have been much worse.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
Second Lt. Aaron Globeck, 23, middle, practices squats with the help of his mother, Brenda Newlin-Globeck, at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland. His father, Ralph Globeck, stands behind him for support.
He was first taken to the intensive care unit at St. Elizabeth Health Center and then to the Specialty Select area of the hospital and next to Briarfield at Ashley Circle and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital - all over the six months after the crash - as the recovery process began.
Everywhere he went, Brenda said, he was treated like family by the medical staff. It is something that brings tears of gratefulness to her eyes.
"He was discharged from Hillside two days before Christmas last year," Brenda said. "There were so many angels along the way."
Aaron and his family and close friend Jared Hideg gathered at Hillside to support Aaron as he completed a round of therapeutic exercises on Wednesday. Lifting weights and practicing squats, Aaron takes direction from Hideg, who nags him to go slow and steady. The two joke and sing along to country music star Dierks Bentley.
"Each week you notice one little thing, whether it is physical or mental, that comes back and it's like, 'Thank you Jesus,'" Brenda said.
At the time of the accident, Aaron was a recent graduate from Florida Tech, where he completed Army ROTC and many of his military friends, like Hideg, have been by his side during the recovery.
"We're hopeful; the military still has him on hold for officer training,'' Brenda said. ''Down the road there's a place I believe he'll be able to help his other GIs."
With military men coming back from the Middle East with TBIs and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she said she believes Aaron will be able to lend particular insight to their needs.
"It's a long, long process, but he's come a long way," she said.
Aaron is currently using a specialized walker to do laps around the house on his own, while attending rehabilitation at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland.
Last year the family spent Thanksgiving at the hospital. This year, they will be gathering at home with an extra serving of thankfulness for the medical workers who have helped along the way.