In the early morning of December 22, he slipped and fell against a sharp edge of a utility sink, one of many cleverly-engineered DIY hacks in his studio. The injury impacts his right forearm and is significant (if you're very brave, look up "de-gloving injury" but don't say I didn't warn you).
Because he went into shock and was not thinking clearly, he waited several hours to go into the ER and lost a lot of blood. Honestly, we are very lucky we didn't lose him that night! To reduce the risk of infection and to stabilize the area, the wound is being treated with a compression bandage and vacuum right now. He's had two surgeries so far during this initial treatment period and expects to undergo at least one more. After that, they can begin the skin grafting process.
The outlook for recovery looks good but will be long and require rehabilitation and a lot of unknowns. We don't know how extensive the tissue damage will be, but the nerves look intact. We live in hope!
Mike has been hesitant to ask for any help. When I first approached him, he resisted, saying that it's the holiday season and people are already going through hard times because of the economic impacts of COVID. But because of the outpouring of support from his friends and family, he finally let us create this page to help ease the burden of the "great unknowns" that exist as he heals.
In addition to any outstanding medical bills from the lengthy hospital stay, we expect there will be follow-up and physical therapy necessary. His studio may need to be professionally cleaned due to the amount of blood he lost -- and an unknown amount of items may need to be replaced (carpets, towels, bedding, mattress, etc). Mike is a frugal guy and lives within his means but this accident will likely impact him in the short- and long-term.
The good news is that he's receiving excellent care and has made friends with all the staff at OCGMC. He's the life of the party and there ain't no party like a hospital-room party with Mike Gardner around, am I right?
Much love to all of you and many, many thanks from all of us rooting for Mike. I'll update with his progress, so check back if you want to be kept in the loop!
Jesse Gardner (Mike's oldest daughter)
- Violet Michener
- Jill K Putney
- Gina Draklich
- Donald Lockner
Organizer and beneficiary
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