"It's not what happens to you, it's how you deal with it!" This is what Mike said when he was shot in the back at the age of 20 and left in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. After a year in the hospital fighting an infection in his brain from the bullet and dying on the operating table and coming back to life, Mike, once again, fought back to survive a life threatening infection, 34 years later!
Being paraplegic, Mike is used to being sick and getting infections, but he never imagined he would be fighting for his life, again, against an aggressive infection that spread within minutes. Mike had necrotizing fasciitis and if he were not taken to the hospital immediately, he would have died. This disease causes the skin and fat to die and immediately causes multi-organ failure and Mike was put on life support. Mike required multiple surgeries to cut out the dead tissue and just when we thought we were nearing the end, Mike "pulled a Mike" and woke up! The prayers and well wishes pulled him through but has left him lying in a bed with questionable recovery. For all of you that know Mike and for others who do not, Mike has never let being in a wheelchair stop him from living life to the fullest, whether he was traveling to Japan for a marathon, scuba diving and playing tennis in Australia or just getting through the sand into the water with his family. He has dedicated his life to mentoring, caring and raising money for the disabled community and has touched many lives along the way. Mike is OK if he can't get back to playing sports and being as active as he used to be, as long as he can get back into his chair and take care of himself. But most importantly, he wants to be there to see his kids grow up. He has a long road ahead and the doctors are still trying to come up with a way to cover his buttocks so he can sit up in his wheelchair. As of now, the initial plan is to amputate one of his legs at the hip and use it to cover the area, but they really have no idea if that will be enough because this procedure has never been performed before. Mike is going to be in the hospital indefinitely and needs multiple surgeries. This means he will be out of work (probably unable to get back to work) and unable to pay for the medical expenses he will rack up, but more importantly, he won't be home with his wife and 3 kids and be present for the many milestones yet to come in their lives. His wife has been working full time but now needs to lower her hours so she can be there for their kids. This account has been set up by friends of Mike and Cris who would like to ease the financial burden placed on them by this horrible infection so that Mike can focus on getting better and being there for his family for years to come.