Milmoe makes steps toward recovery

UVM sophomore Mike Milmoe has begun an astounding recovery from the vegetative state that he slipped into following his collapse during a flag football game in Sept. Doctors diagnosed Milmoe as having had a ventricular fibrillation, his father, Jim Milmoe said. “There was an electrical rhythm that went through his heart that sent it into a fibrillation,” he said. A fibrillation is a “condition in which the heart’s electrical activity becomes disordered. The heart pumps little or no blood. Collapse and sudden cardiac death will follow in minutes unless medical help is provided immediately,” according to the American Heart Association. Over the past few weeks, Milmoe has been gradually improving to the point that he “is starting to form words,” Jim Milmoe said. “The nurse asked him, ‘Where do you go to school, Michael?’ and according to her, Milmoe said, ‘Vermont, The University of Vermont,'” Jim Milmoe said. The Milmoe family set up a Web site on so they could post updates about his condition to friends, family, and supporters. According to the Web site, doctors initially estimated Milmoe’s chances of recovery to be very slim. “Mike suffered a severe injury to his brain, doctors seem to think he went about 75 minutes without oxygen,” the Web site stated in mid-September. “Michael has about a one in 10 chance of full recovery or needing limited assistance.”As of Sept. 15, “One of the doctors said he [had] about a 33 percent chance of full recovery, 33 percent no recovery, 33 percent somewhere in between,” stated the Web site. The following day, Milmoe’s family posted on the Web site that they were, “praying for a miracle as his chances for recovery are slim, less than 5 percent, but miracles do happen!”During the following weeks, the prospect of Milmoe recovering remained grim, as he continually suffered from severe fevers, according to the Web site. On Oct. 3, Milmoe was moved from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he had been receiving care since Sept, to The Spaulding Rehab Hospital. At Spaulding, he began doing speech and physical therapy. Defying all odds, Milmoe has continued with therapy throughout Oct, making such advances as being able to answer questions and performing certain tasks. On Oct. 23, doctors put him on Ritalin, which is a brain stimulator, Jim Milmoe said. Milmoe’s family made a post on the Web site on Oct. 23, saying, “It’s official, Mike really is one in a million! He even has some of the best doctors in the country shocked with the improvements he is making.” While his improvements have astounded many doctors, it is still unclear whether Milmoe will be able to make a full recovery, Jim Milmoe said. Milmoe’s fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, has raised money to help offset some of the medical bills for the Milmoe family. “Originally, we ordered 1,000 bracelets. So far, along with other donations, we have made $4,000. We sold for $5 a bracelet and a lot of people just donated, like alumni and parents of people in the chapter,” said Matt Clauson, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon.According to Clauson, on Friday, Oct. 27, the fraternity held a Level One ski movie premiere at UVM, with proceeds going to the Milmoe family. “The whole Greek community has been really supportive. The UVM campus has really responded well and been very supportive,” Clauson said.”He has really made a lot of recovery. Hopefully, some of that support, that energy, has transferred to him,” Clauson said.To receive updates on Milmoe’s recovery, create a username at and type in MikeMilmoe (one word) to access his page.