In March of 2018, Michael Baratta was leaving work, so he could bring groceries to his mother and have dinner with his mother who was recovering from a bad fall (broken nose, face fracture, bleeding on the brain and 35 stitches!) and struggling with dementia. Shortly after exiting the parking lot, a driver crossed the double yellow line at a high rate of speed in the oncoming lane and hit Mike's Ford Escape head on. His SUV was hurdled across the road and came to rest on a snow bank, where he was trapped inside. Once he was able to get out, he was brought to the emergency room for his injuries, which included a shattered heel, shattered ankle, and fractured bone in his leg, amongst various bumps and bruises. Mike's first thought was "How will I take care of Mom?" Being her only child, Mike went to her house every day after work to make sure she was eating and had the proper care from day to day. This sometimes included going to doctor's appointments and dealing with insurance companies as well as personal care agencies, which is no small feat, all while keeping a full time job, to be able to support himself. His mother receives 25 hrs of a assistance with her care each week, with a sweet and caring neighbor who is there when Mike can't be.
For the last 9 months, with the help of neighbors and family, Mike has been able to care for his mother, who is increasingly in need of care, as her disease progresses. At the same time, Mike has been taking his medical care seriously and following doctor's instructions and suggestions very closely. At a recent appointment he was told that the bone is healed but many muscles have been damaged and he will never walk without pain or a limp again. Due to his injuries, Mike still has not been able to return to work.
As if this were not enough to deal with, during some testing following his accident a mass was detected on Mike's lung. Recent tests have confirmed that he does in fact have Stage 1 Lung Cancer. This presents a whole new set of problems for this family who have struggled so much recently.
Ideally, Mike would like to add an in-law apartment to his mother's home so that he does not have to travel across town when she needs something. As her disease is progressive, as time goes on she will only need more care and Mike is adamant about keeping her in their family home as long as it is an option. Additionally, Mike's apartment, where he has lived for almost 20 years, is on the 3rd floor, which is already difficult with his heel pain. Now with decreased lung function and radiation treatments, 3 flights can seem insurmountable.
Mike is a hard worker and not one to ask for handouts. If not for the struggle to take care of his mother, I don't think he would be asking for help, at all. Even as his own health is in jeopardy, his focus is "taking care of Mom." Additional funds would be used to help with personal care assistance for his mother, while he endures his treatments and any other medical costs that are not covered by insurance. The bills have already started to accumulate and being out of work has left him with no choice but to ask for help.
We are hoping that through the kindness and generosity of others that we can raise enough money to help our friend build a safe home where he and his mother can live comfortably.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this. And to anyone who makes a donation, there is no way we could ever adequately thank you. We are just so grateful to anyone who is willing to help our friend in his greatest time of need.
- Robin Steeves
- Sean Ebert
- Michael Bromaghim
- George Tgibides
- Chris Johnson
Fundraising team (2)