Tillman Perritte

Tillman Perritte is glad he doesn’t remember the accident that ultimately led him to Vibra Hospital of Charleston. A family man, Tillman worked a full-time job and spent as much time as possible with his wife, three adult children, and grandchild. He also enjoyed his hobbies, which often were in service to others. “I like working with my hands and building things,” Tillman said. “My dad taught me great work ethic.” His projects included building tiny homes for some of his children and a princess room for his granddaughter.

Then came the day of Tillman’s accident. A piece of heavy machinery pinned him down, leaving him with multiple fractures and “crushing” internal injuries. An ambulance transported him to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where he was admitted as a trauma patient and intubated. “I don’t remember my accident, which I believe is good.”

However, what Tillman does remember is the progress he made at MUSC and the staff who helped him there. “If it weren’t for the doctors and nurses at MUSC, I wouldn’t have made it.” He transitioned from intubation to a trach with oxygen and a feeding tube and began to participate in therapy as his awareness and overall health improved. “I grew close to some of the nurses at MUSC and want to walk back into the hospital to show them how much I have improved.”

Having progressed in his recovery at MUSC, Tillman transferred to Vibra Hospital of Charleston for the next phase of his recovery. He arrived at Vibra still on the trach and feeding tube but ready to make more strides in his recovery. Outstanding support from the Vibra staff, his family, and his faith community played an essential role in Tillman’s progress at Vibra.

“The staff at Vibra, along with my family and faith in God, helped me in my recovery. The prayers from the parishioners of my church and affiliated churches gave me the strength I needed to get through the really hard days.”

“The people at Vibra were like family to me,” Tillman said emotionally. “I got attached to them, and they got attached to me. Everyone touched my heart, especially Ariana (OT), Victoria, Ali, and Linda (RT), who were always checking on me. The staff knew how much I loved snacks because I was not able to eat for so long. They would bring me shortbread cookies.”

This multitude of support enabled Tillman to make significant gains in his recovery while at Vibra. “I was able to achieve my goals with everyone’s help,” he noted. “There were times when I was showing off to the nurses what I could do. My muscles would hurt the next day, but that’s when I knew I was doing the work I needed to get home.”

One month after arriving at Vibra Hospital of Charleston, Tillman discharged to his sister and brother-in-law’s home. “The plan is to have therapy come to the house,” he stated. “I am not able to walk yet, but I can stand with the walker.”

“I am excited to be with my family,” Tillman said with tears in his eyes. “I am looking forward to seeing my granddaughter and hearing her voice. I am excited to spend Christmas with my family, who will be coming over to my sister’s house. We will play games like ‘Dirty Santa’ and cards. I can’t wait to eat my sister’s famous homemade Alaskan fudge.”

Tillman has another major goal in mind, one he hopes to achieve early in the new year. And true to the man’s character, Tillman’s goal ultimately centers on serving others. “My goal is to walk into Vibra and share my success with other patients who are struggling. I want to show them that if I could do it, so can they. And I want to thank everyone who helped me while I was at Vibra.”