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. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

 UPDATE – 9-15-20 – This Month marks a sad anniversary for our Michael. On Tuesday 9-6-20 is the 7-year anniversary of his accident. Although it has been an incredibly long journey, Michael made some amazing advances. At the time of his accident we were told he may not survive, if he did, he may never emerge from his coma, and if he did, he would most likely remain in a vegetative state.

Well we knew and believed differently, we knew if anyone could push through, it would be our Michael. We were right. He is more aware of his surrounding and activities that occur around him and definitely to him. Regretfully he is still unable to communicate. We remain vigilant in our belief that one day he will find a way.

Regretfully Michael had to be transferred to S.I. hospital earlier this month as he was having a difficulty with stomach cramps. He spent about a week there and thankfully they were able to clear the issue. As this was overly concerning, there was a huge benefit to his stay at the hospital. My wife and I were permitted to be with Michael and stay with him as he cannot communicate. This is something that we have not been able to do since the start of the pandemic. The Nursing home still does not permit visitors. We both find this so frustrating and so stressful. This makes no logical sense at this point that a hospital allowed us to be with him every day for 24 hours a day, yet nursing home still does not. 

My wife and I took turns each day and switched places, so he was never alone. I had a very gratifying experience with Michael. I have not physically been with Mike for 6 months. When I arrived by his bedside, I called to him, he looked at me however, I had a mask on. I slide the mask down and moments later he gave me the biggest smile. I was happy beyond my words to see he knew it was me. as I was concerned, he may not recognize me. Another sign of his recovery.  

Upon on his discharge, he was transported back to the home, my wife accompanied him in the ambulance, however she had to leave his side at their front door. We have appealed to everyone we can, however to no avail, all nursing homes remain locked down by order of Governor Cuomo. My wife does get to accompany him to once a month for his visit to see his neurologist in Lutheran Hospital. However, she must wait for him to be brought down by the ambulance attendants and must say goodbye upon their return to the home.

Again, this makes no logical sense at this point. We pray that this policy ends soon. Starting next week they are planning to allow us to have a short patio visit with him once week at a socially distant space. We are not sure how he will react to this. Only time will tell.

We both pray for everyone to stay healthy and safe and as always thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Regards Mom and Dad Bartolo