Hot Cares Christmas – Shooting Survivor Gifted Prosthetic Eye and Tools of Trade This Festive Season

Hot Cares Christmas – Shooting Survivor Gifted Prosthetic Eye and Tools of Trade This Festive Season

While some people look forward to end-of-year parties and the Christmas holidays, there are others who dread this traditional time to take stock and look back on the past year’s accomplishments – or lack thereof.

It’s well-documented that depression around this time of year is prevalent and that’s why this story is so important.

It’s a story of second chances and it’s the story of Michael, who has battled addiction and depression and found himself in an incredibly dark place in May this year, according to friend Lindsay.

“He was powerless to stop it and in a state of utter desperation and insanity, he shot himself in the head, hoping to put an end to his anguish,” she said.

Apparently, the survival rate of such a catastrophic event is around 1%, but Michael miraculously pulled through, thanks to some amazing doctors at Helen Joseph Hospital. 

“He actually ‘died’ on the operating table, but the doctors fought hard and he was revived,” said Lindsay.

Michael was moved to Charlotte Mxeke Hospital, where he also received amazing care, and was eventually discharged after a series of operations and procedures, having lost an eye. 

“He underwent three massive operations in quick succession and his jaw was left dangling, awaiting the swelling to subside to enable the maxillofacial surgeon to wire the lower part of his face back together,” said Lindsay. “This he endured for six weeks, dropping an amazing 17 kilograms, whilst limited to a liquid diet.”

According to Lindsay, Michael realised that he had been given a second chance and set about rebuilding his shattered life. He’s 54, has kids, and has been able to tentatively resume working, with his passion being fixing laptops and MacBooks, albeit now at a slower pace. 

“Michael has always been such a kind, generous person, but never asks for anything, as he feels he has been blessed with enough,” said Lindsay. “However, he really does need a prosthetic eye and the balance of his follow-up treatments, but has not been able to raise the funds.”

Michael is also, apparently, acutely aware that his current exposed eye socket is not pleasant for others to view.

“He has endured this tragedy with humour and grace, because he is just so grateful to be alive,” said Lindsay. “I also believe his story highlights the urgent issues we as a community have to address with regards depression, mental illness and addiction.”

Hot Cares couldn’t agree more and that’s why we’ve contacted an ocularist to ensure he can get the prosthetic eye he needs, which apparently will also assist Michael in combatting the facial droop he’s currently experiencing.

We’re going to cover that entire cost, but also throw in something else.

Lindsay told us that Michael desperately wants an electron microscope to help him with his fixing of computers and microchips, so we’re adding that to the present pile!

Merry Christmas, Michael!