Near death; life restored

Cecily and Dr. Tillotson's story

A doctor listens intently as a young woman describes her artwork. He can see a sense of pride in her face as she walks him through her process. This woman’s name is Cecily Filtz, and not long ago, she nearly died in a car crash.

It happened on July 4, 2010. Cecily lost control of the car, crashed violently into a tree and was knocked unconscious. Shortly after she regained consciousness and crawled out the back window, an ambulance arrived to rush her to Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital.

After having a seizure in the ambulance, Cecily was intubated and induced into a coma for fear of brain damage. She was given a series of tests for internal bleeding, breaks, and concussions and ended up with two broken vertebrae, two broken ribs, bruised and punctured lungs, and a broken clavicle.

After a week in the hospital, Cecily spent months doing physical therapy at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital getting back to full strength. She says she still sees Robert Tillotson, MD, a Ministry Medical Group emergency department physician who was on duty the day of her accident. Cecily appreciates not only the way the Ministry staff took care of her family that day, but the way they continue to treat her when she works in the Ministry Saint Michael’s Arch Angel Cafeteria.

And now, as Cecily holds up her latest piece of artwork, describing each nuance in detail, she can look back at that traumatic day and say without a doubt that the life of an artist is a pretty remarkable one.

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