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Please scroll down to see Michael's progress update!
As most of you know, Michael has conquered two bouts of cancer, the first at age 28 and the second at age 51. Although surviving cancer, radiation damage led to heart failure and he underwent triple bypass on January 6th. Unforeseen complications have led to him being in Foothills Hospital ICU ever since. He is struggling on a number of fronts, having developed:
- an infection in his lungs
- inability to breath on his own
- kidney failure - he has been on and off of dialysis, and
- significant radiation damage to the diaphragm, which will require further surgeries to repair.
After being intubated for two weeks, he recently underwent a tracheotomy which helps him breathe, but of course is is till unable to communicate well.
Michael has been a mentor and advisor to start-ups over the last 20 years, volunteering his time and energy to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. It is time for us to give back. Michael has a long road to recovery ahead and it may be months before he can return to work, if he ever can again. Michael himself, is an entrepreneur and does not have a long term disability plan. This health situation has caught Michael off guard and unprepared for an uncertain future. Although he has strong support from his family, they are not close by and are putting together a plan to support him through his recovery.
This campaign is set up to help Michael, his sister Caroline, his girls, Alexis and Chanel, their mother Lydia and others in the family navigate this journey. Funds will be used for personal everyday living and healthcare obligations, including:
- apartment rent and utilities
- committed loan and credit facilities
- insurance, and
- unforeseen expenses that may arise during his recovery
Michael has many friends and colleagues that are sharing their thoughts:
"Michael and I have been friends and business partners for more than 15 years. His prodigious memory for people and events ensures he always knows someone that can help a client in any situation. Get well my friend!" - Philip Doublet
"Michael is a gentleman and friend. He always has time to help a founder connect with a customer, perfect their pitch, or find an investor. Speedy recovery Michael! - Sandi Gilbert
“I have had the absolute pleasure of calling Michael my friend for over 15 years. He has always been extremely positive about life, speaks highly of everyone around him, and serves everyone in his midst. We have a friend group who all love him and have missed him terribly during this difficult time. Prayers are going up each and every day for his full recovery. Much love Michael! Come home soon. - Catherine 😊”
Thank you for considering making any contribution that you can.
UPDATE - March 17, 2023
Michael has been getting a few visitors at the Foothills Hospital and we are pleased to see his progress. He is alert and positive. Overall, his recovery will be long and we are working together to find a facility for him to rehabilitate. He is still challenged with eating, experiencing aspiration and choking. so he is scheduled to receive a gastric feeding tube (G-tube) that will allow him to get nutrition directly through an external PEG into the stomach. Although a bit invasive, the ability to get nutrition without the fear choking is welcome.
What is the timing for discharge from Foothills? It is too early to say, but the search is on for a facility that can provide the care and rehab he will need. The family is currently exploring options and are open to suggestions if any.
Michael is grateful for the outpouring of support and is fortunate to have his two girls in town. Together with their mother, his sister and many friends, he knows he is not alone. The long term care will be costly, so we continue to share Michael's story with those that can help.
UPDATE - February 28, 2023
Janina visited with Michael this morning and as noted previously, he was able to progress to soft foods last week and move off the feeding tube. However, he has encountered some difficulty today as he has been aspirating food (food particles going into his lungs) which causes coughing. Consequently, his oral diet of soft foods has been stopped until this issue is resolved and he is once again, back on a feeding tube. The staff were planning on training Michael on the use of a BI-PAP machine but now need to wait until the breathing tube is removed. The staff will do a swallowing assessment on Michael today and then determine how best to proceed. Michael was able to do ½ hour of physio today and continues to be off the ventilator for 12 hours during the day and then back on the respirator at night to ensure a more restful sleep. Michael remains in ICU.
Michael is more open now to have visitors and appreciates everyone’s prayers, positive thoughts and generosity.
Bottom line - Michael is definitely a fighter…..two steps forward and one step back but that’s still progress. The fundraiser is almost at $18,000 and let’s continue the momentum. Michael has been in CV ICU for 8 weeks now and expects to be in the hospital for a further period and then on to a difficult recovery. We are asking all friends to share this campaign widely. We have increased the funding goal and extended the deadline to ensure we can support him in this long term recovery.
UPDATE - February 17, 2023
Michael is starting to make significant progress beyond the small steps he was making earlier. He is no longer on IV although it is available should he require it at any point. His tracheotomy has been corked which now allows him to speak with some difficulty and eat soft foods and drink fluids for the first time since his surgery. Michael is off the ventilator for the full day now although he continues to have some oxygen available to him during the night. The dietician is working with him and his feeding tube may be able to be removed soon. The staff have had Michael walking and doing some small exercises to strengthen his legs.
As you know, this fundraiser has been established to provide financial assistance to Michael during his recovery period and we are hopeful that with the support of Michael’s many friends, we can make this highly successful for him.
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