I am writing this with a heavy heart, seeking your support and assistance during this difficult time. My name is J’Leene Hardaway, and I am the mother of Michael, 35, who is an adorable, affectionate, and kind-hearted young man.
Michael is incredibly smart and comical; spreading happiness to everyone he encounters. With an insatiable curiosity about the world, he eagerly seeks knowledge and is always brimming with questions. Living in Houston, he has been a full-time volunteer and a part-time handyman & pet sitter. And does not have any health coverage. He is known in the world of art festivals, community gardens, music festivals, etc… Always the first to help set up and the last to tear down.
On June 19, 2023, we took Michael to the ER with what we thought was the flu. By the end of the day, he was admitted to ICU with septic shock, while the hospital was running a battery of tests to determine the cause.
Early on June 20th, he was put on a ventilator, CRRT (24-hr. dialysis), numerous antibiotics, beta-blockers, vasopressors, and many other IV medications to keep him alive; but his organs were failing.
By the end of the day, I was told to call my immediate family to come from all parts of the country to say their goodbyes. As each of his close friends and family members arrived, we prayed with ALL our might. God has His plans, and He knew Michael has much more life to live.
Miraculously, defying the odds, by the 1st of July, he was taken off sedation and deliriously opened his eyes a few days later.
While Michael was starting to take his first breaths out of sedation, the doctors confirmed the reason for sepsis was typhus. He was the victim of a severe and traumatic bite from one single flea - with unimaginable consequences. His hands and feet had dry gangrene.
The same vasopressor medication that saved his life severely complicated the outlook of his extremities.
A few days later we transferred Michael to a Level 1 Trauma Hospital to get the best Orthopedic surgeons.
On July 10, 2023, both of his hands were amputated up to his forearms. The first foot surgery of a handful is scheduled for July 20th. As of now, we do not know how much of his feet are salvageable. He will have a few more hyperbaric chamber treatments to save good tissue.
Michael has strength and will be undergoing an excruciating amount of surgeries, therapies and rehabilitation, mostly to restore activities of daily living. But he shouldn’t have to worry about the financial pain. The more I research, the more I’m astonished at what can be done, but it’s always at a cost.
Therefore, with utmost humility and heartfelt sincerity, I kindly ask you to share the following link with your friends and family to consider offering any financial assistance you can spare (no amount is too small). Your support will alleviate the burden of medical bills & life-long prosthetics.
We are eternally grateful for your support and may each one of you be blessed abundantly.
With warm regards,
J'Leene & Ricky Hardaway
and many of Michael's family and friends
Please feel free to send a note and positive thoughts. You can also use the above email to send him notes to share with him, as well.
- Jimmy Leonard
- TERESA SMITH
- GINA MAZZA
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