Hero paralyzed after creek rescue takes turn for worse - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Hero paralyzed after creek rescue takes turn for worse

Posted: Updated:
ROCKMART, Ga. -

A Rockmart man left paralyzed from the waist down after risking his life to save a young girl swept away by a creek took a turn for the worse. The update comes from a Facebook page for 43-year-old father Michael Patterson that is maintained by his family.

About 4 a.m. Thursday, the Friends of Mike Patterson posted: "Please forgive us for not updating about Mike's physical status earlier. Yesterday (Wednesday) was a rough day. Mike's condition seemed to take a turn for the worse as he began experiencing some breathing problems. The doctors were doing everything they could to address it so that Mike could, at the very least, get a good night's sleep."

Just last Saturday, Michael Patterson dove into a creek at the Silver Comet Trail to save a 4-year-old girl. Carlisa Jones' daughter had stepped into the creek and suddenly been swept away by the current.

Patterson broke his neck in three places and severed his spine, according to his mother, Vicki Jones. She said Patterson had been floating face down in the water for three minutes before anyone realized what had happened.

Patterson was transported to Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome.

About 9 a.m. Thursday, an update at the FOMP Facebook page read: "Mike is back on the ventilator, in a medically induced coma, and has pneumonia in both lungs. His sweet mom is sitting by his bed, holding his hand and praying for a miracle and that he is in no pain right now. His family asks that we raise him up in prayer."

Patterson just started a new job as a contractor two weeks and has no insurance, his family said. His family hopes to get him into the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation. They said their funds are limited because Patterson's father has cancer and his grandfather is bedridden.

Patterson's heroic story has attracted attention worldwide. Family friend Tonya Davis said the overwhelming show of love has been astonishing.

"The immediacy of these people to reach out to someone that they did not know, and I'm not talking $10 – which was wonderful - but they were offering hundreds and thousands of dollars to help a man they had nothing other than a news story on and we are in difficult economic times, you know. But obviously Vicki, Mike's mom, says there are angels among us," said Davis.  
Davis and Laura Bledsoe have been working around the clock to help Patterson. They said Mike's mother had a message for supporters.

"She said all the money in the world isn't going to help us, but with your prayers and support are what we feel and what we know are getting us through," said Davis.

The family friends said that Patterson is supposed to have surgery on Friday to put a tracheotomy in.

UPDATE: All requests for fundraisers or donations should go through his family.

Donations can be made to:

River City Bank
"Mike Patterson Donation Fund"
228 N. 2nd Ave SW
Rome, GA 30165

Some family members and friends have started a Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/Friendsofmikepatterson  -- that will provide updates.  

To contact the family, email: FriendsOfMikePatterson@gmail.com

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