Life After Death


Sarah Poma, Copy Editor

Lake Shore High School Alumni William Hitchcock shared his life changing story with the Principles of Leadership class on May 15th. While telling his story, his mother, father-figure, his best friend since the age 13, his old classmates, staff from different Lake Shore schools, and retired Lake Shore staff came to listen to his life changing story.

Will Hitchcock when he was younger

Hitchcock was riding his bike at the corner of 13 and Greater Mack on his way to Kennedy Middle School like he did any other day, until it all changed. He heard a horn sound about six feet behind him and noticed a Ford F-150 pickup truck driver trying to swerve around him, but instead hit him. Hitchcock flew straight up into the air and ended up landing on the truck’s hood near the windshield and the impact was so bad on his head that he was immediately knocked out. The truck driver continued to drive into oncoming traffic and when the vehicle finally came to a stop, he flew an additional 15 feet landing head first.

Every muscle in Hitchcock’s body was violently shaking because of the sudden impact to his head and his brain. Hitchcock eventually stopped shaking and his heart stopped. 

People from the area came out to see what had happened, and several of the community members noticed that there was a person, more of a silhouette, making his way to Hitchcock’s body. No one could identify the silhouette because there was no face. When the silhouette was done with looking over his body, it reportedly made its way through a crowd of people and vanished. 

A fire truck was the first emergency vehicle on scene and they immediately started trying to help Hitchcock by trying to resuscitate him. Hitchcock’s injury was too severe for the firemen to help him so they radioed another emergency vehicle to come help him. Hitchcock’s head was bleeding, he was unconscious, and his left lung collapsed. When the other emergency vehicle arrived, they cut open his shirt and cut open his left side to inflate his lung. At that time, Hitchcock was taken to Mt. Clemens General Hospital. 

During all of this time, Hitchcock’s parents were notified with little information stating that their son was in an accident and that he was at Mt. Clemens General. 

When Hitchcock arrived at the hospital, he was stabilized and was being assessed. 

When his aunt, parents and neighbors came to the hospital, they were taken to the room where people usually get the news that whoever they were here to see passed away. 

The Doctors told Hitchcock’s parents, “We are not going to treat your son any more. His injury is too severe and we do not have the equipment nor the expertise to treat your son.” At this point, his parents started begging to be able to see Hitchcock and every time they begged, they were denied. After continuous begging, his parents were eventually able to see Hitchcock, but only from the hallway. 

Hitchcock had to be transferred to Children’s Hospital in Detroit.

When he arrived at the next hospital, he was then stabilized and had to get tubes inserted to his head. One tube was to monitor his brain pressure, and the others were to drain the excess brain fluid. Hitchcock’s brain pressure was in the 60’s, and growing, while normal brain pressure is supposed to be in the 20’s.

Since Hitchcock was in a terrible state, the doctors allowed his parents to say goodbye, because they didn’t believe he was going to make it. During that time, a lady, that no one knew, came in with a picture of Jesus and sat it on his chest, and immediately after that, Hitchcock was taken back into surgery. 

After the surgery, even though it was successful, the doctors put Hitchcock into a coma that lasted 31 days. During that time, the tubes that were in his head got knocked out and so his brain pressure rose into a very dangerous level and caused his brain to expand into his brain stem. Due to the brain expanding, it caused paralysis in all the muscles on the right side of Hitchcock’s face, his right vocal cord and his right larynx.

Hitchcock ended up having to be put on life support, have a feeding and breathing tube and over 20 IVs in his chest. 

Another lady, that no one knew, came to visit Hitchcock. She had a jar of oil that she gave to Hitchcock’s parents. The oil was blessed with all religions and was to be rubbed on his body to help him heal.

After Hitchcock came out of a coma, he couldn’t walk, talk, eat, or move any muscles and he communicated by blinking. 

Every day, someone would come pick Hitchcock up and strap him to a board. The board helped him regain his strength in his muscles. He continued to do physical therapy five days a week. Hitchcock was eventually discharged from the hospital after four months. 

Two months after Hitchcock was discharged, he went back to school. He went to Warren Woods Middle School. During that time it was around March or April, so he didn’t have much time left till the end of the school year. When he was there, they put him at a 3rd grade level and by the next school year, he did so well that they bumped him up to an 8th grade level.

During his 8th grade year, Hitchcock met Anthony Fergusson and Jeff Smith. They were in almost every one of Hitchcock’s classes and would tease and harass him all day so bad to the point where they threatened to kill Hitchcock. 

By the end of the school year, the last parent teacher conference, the school board told Hitchcock and his family that he would not do well in society and should not attend high school.

Hitchcock received an award for being on the Honor Roll for every card marking and also received a letter from the President of the United States for his accomplishments and how far he has come in life. 

Later, Hitchcock and his parents met with the representatives of Lake Shore. Lake Shore representatives didn’t want anything to do with Hitchcock. They didn’t want him to come to Lake Shore and didn’t want to “deal with him.” One other representative wanted to give Hitchcock a chance at Lake Shore, which started his high school career as a Shorian and eventually graduated with honors. 

Despite all of the things Hitchcock went through at a very young age, he is still smiling and telling his story to others so he can help people to be grateful for what they have now and to be the best person they can be.