By Brian Livingston
Fredie Carmichael knew his dad, State Sen. Videt Carmichael, was going to be fine when after being moved from the ICU at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the senator, a huge Mississippi State University fan, was bantering back and forth with doctors who were Ole Miss alumni.
"There is dad, decked out in all of his Bulldog glory, getting after the Ole Miss doctors," Fredie Carmichael said Wednesday afternoon. "We continue to be amazed at the speed of his recovery. It is nothing short of a miracle."
The senator had been in an induced coma and on a ventilator since March 31 when he passed out and hit his head on the concrete outside his Jackson apartment. Saturday, doctors were able to finally ween the senator off the ventilator and gradually bring him out of the coma. He was moved to a private room where his son and the rest of the Carmichael family began to see a rapid transformation.
"The doctors were amazed as we were," Fredie Carmichael said. "Ever since he came out of the fog of the drugs, he has wanted to get home."
Carmichael, a 14-year veteran of the Senate, had been complaining of headaches and nausea for several days prior to the fall but he continued to work at the state Capitol. The senator reported for work March 31 but was sent home by the Capitol nurse because of high blood pressure.
While at the apartment the senator got up to get some fresh air. While outside he passed out and hit his head on the concrete.
Doctors told the family the primary cause of the senator's condition was a bleeding ulcer. An operation has corrected that condition but doctors were concerned for the swelling in the senators brain from the impact of the fall.
Now, the after effects of the blow to the head seem to be nominal, according to Fredie Carmichael.
"From the time he had shaken off the drugs we were talking about the college basketball tournament, the Legislature, and other topics so his mind was back to being pretty sharp," Fredie Carmichael said. "He didn't remember the fall or the events immediately afterwards."
By Sunday, barely 36 hours after leaving the ICU, the senator was bound and determined to get home to Clarkdale, his son said. Doctors advised him to stay a couple more days for observation, which Fredie Carmichael said wasn't an easy sell.
Fredie Carmichael said the fact his dad was in such good shape, he and his wife rode bicycles three times a week among other forms of exercise, probably facilitated the senator's quick recovery.
"He still has some of the recovery to go before he is back to his old self but we have seen him make progress almost on an hourly basis," Fredie Carmichael said. "There is no doubt in the minds of the family members that all those prayers for his recovery have been vital as well. We certainly appreciate all the support he and the family have been given over this trying time."
Videt Carmichael was elected in 2000 out of District 33 which covers Clarke and Lauderdale counties. There is no timetable as to when the senator will be able to resume his duties serving his constituents.
"He is continuing to receive care and physical rehabilitation at home," Fredie Carmichael said. "We ask for the continued support of everyone as he progresses through this."