Our Michael Bartolo Blog

Michael Bartolo, Afghan War Hero was critically injured on September 6th 2013 in motorcycle accident.  He suffered multiple injuries and a traumatic brain injury which has left him in a minimally conscious state. He is unable to walk or talk and requires constant nursing care. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

UPDATE -JUNE 1ST 2019 - Mike is doing ok. He remains stable and in good health. Not much new to report as to why we have not posted recently.

We continue to take Mike home daily for 4-5 hour visits. He seems to enjoy being home with us as he is very relaxed. My wife works with him stretching hos arms and legs and shaving him. I continue to try to get him to say something, he appears to try, however has yet to be able to. We know someday he will. We take him to Lutheran Hospital once a month for his Baclofen Pump and Botox Injections.

All else status quo.

Thank you for checking in and prayers and wish you a wonderful summer season.

Mom and Dad Bar

Saturday, April 6, 2019

UPDATE 4-5-19- 

All is well with Michael. His health remains stable and there is not much new to report. We continue to take him home each day for daily visits. He handles the trip back and forth with no issues, in fact we believe his awareness has increased as he oftens appears a bit stressed and lets out a loud moan upon his arrival to the facility.

My wife continues her diligent effort of stretching him arms every day. This too let's us know he has become more aware, He does not enjoy her doing it and tries to appear to be sleeping so she won't disturb him. However she does not let that deter her. She shaves him every other day and cleans his mouth daily. He appears to enjoy the shaving, however does not like the mouth cleaning. She cleans the inside of his mouth as he makes it extremely difficult for the aides to do. Another sign of awareness.

Each month my wife and I transport Michael to Lutheran hospital for his visit with his neurologist to have internal pump refilled which helps him reduce any muscle spasms. In addition. once every three months we take him alos to Lutheran for his botox injections. the shots are in his hands and arms and help a bit to increase his flexibility in hands and arms. Unfortunately for Michael they are very painful. So sad for him to have to go through this in addition to what he goes through on a daily basis.

I continue to work with Michael in attempt to get him to say something. When I speak directly to him he appears to try to say something in return. He lifts his head in my direction and moves his mouth rapidly up and down which appears like he is speaking. We Believe one day he will.

We wish we had more to report, however we remain committed to our belief that he will continue to recover and someday he will discover a way to communicate. We will never give up as we know our Michael and know that neither will he.

We appreciate you checking in and wish you and your family a very Easter and Passover season.

Regards Anthony & Debbie Bartolo

Thursday, March 7, 2019

3-6-19 UPDATE:  

Today my husband Anthony and I brought Mike to his routine Botox appointment at Lutheran Hospital. All was well during the trip into Brooklyn, relaxed, comfortable, sleepy.  Unfortunately Anthony was not able to park so he had to wait in the van while I brought Mike up to the office.  Once in the waiting area, I saw his eyes looking around and I guess he realized where he was. His head shot up and I saw slight agitation.  We were an hour behind schedule so his anticipation of what was ahead was increasing.  We were finally called into the room and he was Not happy. The doctor began setting up and when she came around to face him he gave her one of his "not to nice" looks! She even looked up to me with amusement and responded with "He really does not like me!!" He continued to focus completely on her so she suggested I play some of his favorite music on You-tube.  I did which began to distract him. The shots he receives are given into his hands, forearm and bicep. These as you can imagine, are Very painful but he got thru it.  Afterward, we had enough time to bring him home for a while.  I decided to leave him along to rest.

The highlight of the day was when his father came over to him to tell him when he comes home again tomorrow, he joked with Michael that he was going to put duct tape on me and put me in the closet so I can't bother with my stretching exercises etc. With that Michael picked up his head toward his dad and began to what appears to use as his smiling and laughing!  We have witnessed him do the same thing occasionally when we are watching TV at the appropriate time during a funny scene. We both took all these actions as a Very Good sign.  

Michaels progress has been very slow, however, he continues to surprise us and helps us to continue to BELIEVE and NEVER GIVE UP. Hopefully next month we will have another progress story to tell.

Thank you all again for your continued support and prayers.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Update: 2-1-19   This year we have decided to bring Mike home everyday instead of the 5 days we have been doing. Only on extremely cold days we stay with him at the nursing home.  He has been doing very well health wise and very attentive, and noticed on a positive note, especially with his father. When Anthony comes by his side Mike instantly knows and opens his eyes directly to him. He stays attentive and follows where Anthony stands.  HIs mouth begins to move as if he wants desperately to say something.  Maybe one day he actually will and surprise everyone! We are also doing well bringing him to his doctors appointments in Brooklyn using his van instead on the ambulance.  He handles the ride back and fourth very well and very relaxed. All these changes are doing Mike good and and helping to make our life easier!  We will continue to update you and a monthly basis with any progress.  Until then, stay warm and thank you for your continued support

Friday, January 4, 2019

Anthony and I had asked Mike to give us one Christmas present. To show us he is with us and can understand. We each stood on opposite sides of his and called his name to look at us. With a slight delayed reaction, this is exactly what he did.  He turned his head and eyes directly to me and then again to his father. This action is not something he would do on a regular basis.  On occasion he would turn his head only to one side.  We both couldn't be happier with this progress!

For the last three weeks, due to the holidays, we were able to bring Mike home everyday. His health has been stable and we noticed so much sound coming from him. We believe all the activity surrounding him on a daily basis is helping to keep his brain active and possibly connecting.

We continue to ask him to perform certain commands and when his father talks to him, Mike is appears to be very attentive. He has on several occasions has followed his verbal commands. He often appears to be trying to speak. he moves his jaw up and down as if he is speaking, however no sound. We believe he is trying to connect his voice and with the jaw movement. We will continue to help him break through. 

We see in him his strength and determination which he always possessed, trying so hard to communicate.  As we all know Michael was a fighter, and we believe deep down he is still fighting to come thru.  He is young and he has time on his side. Please keep your prayers coming and hold on to the Belief (which we have) that one day we will all see the miracle we've been waiting for.

Thank you all for your continued support and checking in on his progress. The Bartolo family wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy New Year !

Saturday, December 8, 2018

12-6-18 UPDATE -  Yesterday Anthony and I brought Michael to his Botox Appointment at Lutheran Hosp. The trip in the van went well and we were excited to show his neurologist a short video we took the day before of how Mike had interacted with his father. Anthony was talking with Mike and I saw how Mikes eyes were focused on his father, so I grabbed my phone and started recording.  Michael tried so hard to speak, his head lifted - mouth trying to make sense of words and finally his voice came.  It was directly to his father and it continued. Unfortunately his doctor was training an intern so I didn't have an opportunity to show her. However, during his visit, she did comment on how attentive he was and noticed how his eyes were tracking her every move. This in itself show much promise. As usual we both work every day to work on getting some kind of reaction from Mike and to keep his brain active. This we believe is most important. Again Michael has age on his side so as he progresses, we will keep you all informed.  We both which everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for checking in
mama bar 2 days ago