Canisius Student Inspires Book and Movie

faulknerBy Dave Goodwin
Assistant News Editor

Matt Faulkner sat in the back of a small, crowded Geo Prizm with three of his closest friends, not realizing that his life was about to change forever. On March 2, 2009, the popular West Seneca West High School senior, yearbook editor-in-chief, National Honor Society president, and future Canisius College student was on his way to East Aurora when his car was t-boned by a large pickup truck. His friends were able to walk away without any injuries, but Faulker was not so lucky.

Faulkner was found unconscious at the scene and then transported to Erie County Medical Center via Mercy Flight. After being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, the neurosurgeon on duty told his parents that they would have to take him off of life support within a year.

Faulkner underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his skull due to the swelling and bleeding of his brain. He remained in ICU for three and a half weeks and was in a coma for 40 days. He was able to respond to the doctors by squeezing their fingertips and slowly began to show signs of improvement.

“You don’t just wake up out of a coma and everything is back to normal. I couldn’t speak, I could understand language and I communicated with letters on a poster board and I spelled out words,” vented Faulkner.

From there on out, he started to improve even more. Through hard work and dedication, he regained some of his speech function.

“On Mother’s Day, I was able to tell my mom ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ so it was a very good gift for her,” said Faulkner.

Through his therapy, he had one goal in mind, to be able walk across the stage at his high school graduation ceremony. He had to completely relearn how to walk. After a total of 103 days in the hospital and tremendous hard work, Faulkner was able to walk outside without any assistance.

The amazing events of Faulkner’s full recovery have inspired both a book and feature length documentary. On March 23, 2013, the book and movie both premiered at the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts.

Faulkner’s friend and former peer, Ryan Monolopolus, produced and directed the film. The film is called “Recovery” and will be available for release in the summer of 2013. Faulkner was pleased with the final project.

“He did a really great job on it. Even after watching, I have a whole different view of my recovery,” said Faulkner.

The book, written by West Seneca native Joe Kirchmyer, is called “Most Likely to Survive,” and is available on Amazon. The book focuses on the recovery process, and Faulkner even contributed to the book’s ending. He will be doing a book signing on April 20 at Dog Ears Bookstore, located on 688 Abbot Rd. in South Buffalo.

Faulker, a senior business and finance major, currently has a full-time job lined up for after graduation at BidURenergy, an energy consultant firm located in Buffalo. He says that he is grateful for the full recovery that he had.

“I have had a good recovery. The most important thing to me is being able to perform well in school. To me I have fully recovered because I can be an active member of the competitive workforce,” said Falkner.

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