Grandfather struck by car loses arm, recovers with family by his side

Charlie Wilkes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Weeks after a horrific accident, a man who was struck by a vehicle remains hospitalized, but is continuing to improve.

On June 5, Charlie Wilkes was walking across Murfreesboro Road after work when he was struck by a vehicle.

The 56-year-old man lost his arm in the accident, but not his spirit to live.

“He has a smile on his face all the time,” wife Carmalita Wilkes said of her husband of 18 years.

Immediately following the accident, Charlie was bleeding profusely when motorist Rick Elam stopped to render aid. Rick quickly placed a tourniquet on Charlie’s injured left arm, which has since been amputated.

“This guy went at least 15 to 20 feet in the air, he was bleeding profusely,” he previously told Nashville’s News 2 Investigates.

Carmalita said Rick has since told her he learned the first aid skills as a Boy Scout.

“When Charlie came in he had hardly any blood, the doctor came to me Wednesday and said you need to make some decisions, about living or dying, taking him off life support. I told them I am not making that decision. God is making that decision,” she said.

Since the accident, Charlie has undergone eight operations.

According to Carmalita, he continues to get stronger each day and their three grandchildren are his motivation to live.

“The miracle man, Charlie is the miracle man,” she said, adding,

“His grandson calls him the turbo man. The trauma team says they have never seen anything like it.”

On Father’s Day, Camalita said she received an unexpected gift from her husband.

“I walked in and said, ‘Happy Father’s Day’ and Charlie turned around and I heard him say thank you and I looked behind the door because I thought someone was in there and I just started hollering cause he talked,” she said.

The couple plan to renew their wedding vows next year.

Doctors have yet to say when Charlie will be released from the hospital.

Police said the driver who struck Charlie was not charged.

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