Hickson Family Fund

My heart and soul are so so heavy tonight. I stepped into my friend Melissa’s world for just an afternoon concerning her husband Michael. Someone out there has to have suggestions on what steps to take. I’ve posted about Melissa and her beautiful family before and her husband Michael who was in a terrible accident 3 years ago that left him as a quadriplegic with a brain injury but fighting and progressing. God brought Michael and Melissa and their 5 kids into my life through real estate when Melissa was fighting for proper care for Michael and moved them all to Austin. We met when I had a rental listing and she reached out about wanting something more permanent for her family because they were living in an extended stay hotel after finding a care facility for Michael. The moment we spoke I think we both knew God planned this. As she was fighting for Michael and his care, I was fighting for her and her family for a home to rent-battling the rental criteria side as far as income requirements etc. With the help of a few amazing people we found them a place where Melissa could get the kids enrolled in school and start to live as normal a life as possible. All the while she is fighting insurance companies, bill collectors, fighting for Michael’s treatments and care, and working full time jobs (yes I said job-S) to keep food on the table for her kids. I have never met anyone who put all of themself into so many uphill battles and still was able to keep joy in her life because of her undeniable faith in God.

We have maintained a deep connection and while not always in person, we could always pick up the phone and text about stuff going on and she has always kept me informed with Michael and things going on and always checked in on how my family was doing. Melissa reached out back in May talking about a covid positive patient at the facility Michael was in and that everyone was tested and he tested positive with no symptoms. Later on she let me know he had a second test that came back negative. Earlier THIS week Michael had “suspected” pneumonia because of a higher than normal temp and slight cough so he was taken from the care facility to St David’s. All of a sudden it was UTI-Sepsis-Pnemonia and Covid. Because of his quadriplegic condition, uti’s are common with him, and Melissa has said he has been known to catch pneumonia a time or two being in facilities. She has ALWAYS been extremely picky on the facility he is in because of this. However, over the last 6 months an angry family member who lives hundreds of miles away and has had NO part in his care or recovery, felt the need to step in and push her credentials around like she new what was best for him. Sadly, because of money and power, she was able to convince the facility Michael was progressing at, that Melissa wasn’t doing all she could for him. So they collaborated and were able to give guardianship to a 3rd party company completely removed from any knowledge of Michael’s history and care, and Michael was moved to a less than ideal care facility where Michael regressed and Melissa and her kids were unable to see him. ***Let me pause and say that I was at the ICU today with Melissa and to see Michaels response when he heard her voice and to see him respond to the kids when they FaceTimed them in....it was mind blowing. Even the nurse had no idea! So rewind to Tuesday where Michael (still considered negative for covid) has a slightly higher temp and cough it was “assumed pneumonia” so they shipped him to St David’s where he is now being left to die. Melissa messaged me this morning because she had received an EMAIL-NOT A PHONE CALL....about her husband being on a bi-pap and doctors decided that he should just be given “comfort care” and prepare fo hospice at this point. Nobody was going to call and tell her this, the 3rd party company so “graciously” sent out an email. So I asked if she could go see him and she called the hospital and the charge nurse said sure no problem. Never said this would more than likely be a visit to say goodbye or anything to say she wasn’t able to physically be in the same room etc. So I offered to go with Melissa, drive her there in case she got there and he was in horrible shape etc. We got to the hospital and were escorted up to ICU where Michael was in a room with an oxygen mask on but not looking to be in distress or in horrible shape. They allowed Melissa to FaceTime with him and LET ME TELL YOU...that man responded to questions, he nodded his head and smiled! Then the 5 kids called in to FaceTime and he opened his eyes and smiled and responded to them!!!

Little did we know that the doctor, the state, and this third party company had already decided that Michael was not going to leave the hospital. They were not going to attempt to save him or treat him with anything besides antibiotics and oxygen and that because of his quadriplegic condition, he obviously had no quality of life beforehand so why would they go to any measure to extend his life now. Y’all. I have never felt more helpless in my life. I have never been around a doctor and a nurse that were so robotic in their words like they were being programmed to say these things. I will say one thing...I spent only a few hours there with her today and have not been this emotionally drained in so so long...but yet Melissa had been fighting for Michael for 3 years just to be told that the state and the doctor have decided that he isn’t worth fighting for anymore. There is a lot more detail involved that I actually got on video discussing why they would only leave him on the current oxygen for 12 hours because nobody could watch him and make sure he wouldn’t vomit in the face mask that would cause him to breathe in vomit and possible kill him...YET what they had said at the end was that they were willing to take him off everything and not try any treatment which would inevitably kill him. There is something very wrong with this whole thing and I don’t want to think this hospital and this third party company are gaining anything from positive covid diagnosis and covid deaths but after what I witnessed with my own eyes and ears today I cannot dismiss it.
Aside from the tragedy of the inconsistencies around the covid diagnosis and what should really be brought to light is the medical field and states handling of this entire situation. Michael and his family have slipped through the cracks of the medical/insurance field because of insane technicalities where his condition didn’t check all the boxes to get certain care and coverages and certain doctors didn’t have the time, patience or the heart to see to it that he was able to receive the care he needed. Melissa has talked and emailed and called and written and met in person with medical providers, presidents of insurance companies, written letters to the governor, you name it she has done it...again all while working full time and raising her kids (who by the way are some of the most incredible people I’ve met). I don’t know why I am feeling compelled to share this with Facebook world but I am feeling like someone out there can help or can shed light on something somehow someway. Melissa is sad and angry and tired and resilient and strong and faithful and encourages me for crying out loud! I want to help her and her family but more so, I want to know how this system is able to do this to a human being.


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Jill Cipriano 
Leander, TX
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