Mikey Loy was installing shiplap on the ceiling of an old church in LeClaire that he bought, working alongside his brother to convert it into a recording studio.
One wrong step, and Loy's life nearly came to an end: he fell sixteen feet onto the hardwood floor beneath, sustaining a concussion, facial fractures, skull fractures, a broken jaw, broken wrists, a spine fracture, and—most grave of all—shattered temporal bones, which sit at the base of the skull next to the cereral cortex of the brain.
The temporal bones, rendered jagged, fell onto his carotid artery.
Luckily, Loy's injuries didn't prove fatal—doctors revived him and performed multiple surgeries.
Still, it was painful, and painfully expensive—especially without health insurance, since Loy is self-employed as both a guitarist for the local rock band The Penny Serfs and as a guitar technician for the band The National. So, Loy knew he had to recover quickly.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Through a combination of juicing, resting, and jogging, Loy not only got back on his feet—he also shed off what he calls his "dad bod," losing around 30 pounds.
"After those first couple weeks, I felt like Forrest Gump," says Loy. "I was ready to like get out of my bed and start running until I couldn’t run anymore."
So fast was his recovery, Loy was able to get back to work, touring with The National in South America.
On Wednesday, Loy will play his first gig with The Penny Serfs since his near-fatal fall, at the Raccoon Motel and Triple Crown Whiskey Bar in Davenport.
Just the day before the concert, he’s scheduled to have the metal bar in his right arm surgically removed.
There’s no guarantee his arm will be in shape to play the guitar right away, but he says he’ll be prepared either way.
"If I can play guitar, I will. If I can't, I'll just Google up some sweet Cindy Lauper dance moves and make it up that way."