Fittest loser
Article posted: 4/4/2013 5:30 AM

Budding Hoffman Estates scientist overcomes brain injury

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University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple M.D./Ph.D. programs.

courtesy of University of Illinois

University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.

courtesy of University of Illinois

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University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.

courtesy of University of Illinois

University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.

courtesy of University of Illinois

University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists senior research scientist Wawrzyniec Dobrucki with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.

courtesy of University of Illinois

Matt Schuelke, then a Fremd High School junior, shows where a rock crushed his skull while skiing in February 2008.

courtesy of the Schuelke family

Matt Schuelke, then a Fremd High School junior, got a nice welcome home to Hoffman Estates in February 2008 after a skiing accident.

courtesy of the Schuelke family

Hoffman Estates native Matt Schuelke does field testing in Yellowstone National Park for a University of Illinois geobiology course.

Courtesy of Matte Schuelke

About this Article

In the hours after experienced skier Matt Schuelke landed a jump headfirst on a rock -- cracking his skull and driving bone into his brain -- his parents stood by helplessly as their son lay in a coma. No one knew whether the Fremd High School junior's brain would swell, or what impairments the injury would leave. So it's nothing short of a miracle, they're sure, that Matt is now on the verge of not only graduating from the University of Illinois, but joining one of the nation's most prestigious combined MD/Ph.D. programs en route to becoming a physician scientist.
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    • University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple M.D./Ph.D. programs.
    • University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.
    • University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.
    • University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.
    • University of Illinois senior Matt Schuelke assists senior research scientist Wawrzyniec Dobrucki with cutting-edge imaging research aimed at benefiting diabetic patients. The Hoffman Estates native, who five years ago suffered a serious brain injury while skiing, has been accepted into multiple MD/Ph.D. programs.
    • Matt Schuelke, then a Fremd High School junior, shows where a rock crushed his skull while skiing in February 2008.
    • Matt Schuelke, then a Fremd High School junior, got a nice welcome home to Hoffman Estates in February 2008 after a skiing accident.
    • Hoffman Estates native Matt Schuelke does field testing in Yellowstone National Park for a University of Illinois geobiology course.
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