“Working for 10 years at a business is an accomplishment for anyone, but for someone with a brain injury, it’s a huge milestone,” said Devon Dorman, president of the Brain Injury Association of Delaware. She was speaking about Smyrna’s Mike DuPhily who celebrated his 10th year of employment at Willis Chevrolet on Aug. 26 after recovering from a motorcycle crash that nearly took his life.


“Working for 10 years at a business is an accomplishment for anyone, but for someone with a brain injury, it’s a huge milestone,” said Devon Dorman, president of the Brain Injury Association of Delaware.

She was speaking about Smyrna’s Mike DuPhily who celebrated his 10th year of employment at Willis Chevrolet on Aug. 26 after recovering from a motorcycle crash that nearly took his life. That was in 1995. He woke from a coma after suffering a traumatic brain injury. He spent the next two-and-a-half years in hospitals and rehabilitation programs, learning to walk, talk, and dress himself again.

“Taking care of Mike is best described as taking care of a five to 10-year-old child in a man’s body,” said his mother, Rusty Sheridan.

Little by little, Mike improved.

Before his accident, Mike was a master mechanic.

In 2000, Willis GM Auto Mall President Bill Willis offered Mike a part-time job working with cars again -- washing and detailing vehicles.

“This has worked out extremely well,” said Rusty. “This is his second family.”

At the anniversary celebration, Bill said, “People say, ‘This is coincidence’ or ‘That’s a coincidence,’ but this man here is a ‘God-incidence.’”

Just that morning, Bill and his wife had turned to the day’s lesson in a Bible study book they use. The selected verse, Hebrews 13:2, says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Bill said, “Mike’s certainly not a stranger to us now, but he was when he first started, and everyone of us has been blessed by his presence.”

General Manager Isaac Willis presented a plaque to Mike in honor of his service to the company.

“He’s one of the best car washers we’ve ever had,” said Isaac. “He’s dependable. He’s hard working. We’re proud of him.”

“I’m happy for myself,” said Mike. “I’d like to work here 14 more years until I’m 65. I’d like to retire here.”