Mike

Mike came to Evergreen when he was 27 years old in 1994.  He had lived with his mother, but as she got older, she felt that Mike would be happier with structure and frequent social interaction.

Mike was full of life and happy. His Evergreen caregivers like to tell the story about the year they went to the Texas state fair. It was a busy day and the group was walking to the next attraction. Evergreen staff turned around and Mike was gone. The staff panicked and franticly sifted through the crowd. Someone eventually found Mike – without a care in the world – playing carnival games at one of the booths.

A few years ago, Mike’s dad passed away and his mood started to change. He slowly began to shut down. Pretty soon he was sick – very, very sick. He couldn’t eat and could barely move. His Evergreen caregivers took him to dozens of doctors. Every diagnosis and prescription seemed to have the opposite effect. Mike was slowly dying and no one or no thing seemed to help.

At this point, most providers would have turned over his care to a nursing home, reasoning that around-the-clock care was simply too expensive to continue. But to Mike’s Evergreen caregivers, he was family. Some of them had been working with Mike for more than a decade.  The only thing staff cared about was what was best for Mike. And what was best for Mike was to stay in the care of the dozens of staff who loved him like a son or younger brother.

Many physicians recommended that Mike go to a nursing home.  His Evergreen caregivers said NO and began an around-the-clock regime, feeding him calorie-packed foods and monitoring his medical and behavioral status. His caregivers poured over medical books and articles looking for what matched his symptoms. They were constantly presenting possible diagnosis to his physicians that was rejected. It wasn’t until they found a relatively new medical diagnosis, called  Lewy-Body, that they knew they had the answer. Mike mimicked all the symptoms and reactions to medication and behavioral pattern. They consulted with the doctors, who agreed 100 percent.

With a proper diagnosis, constant care and a lot of love, Mike was soon on the mend. Today, he’s gained all of his weight back and is able to feed himself. He has a hearty appetite and loves being at home with his roommates. He enjoys the Evergreen Day Center during the week and going to the Special Olympics on Saturdays and church on Sundays. Watching his favorite sports teams – the Cowboys and Rangers – are a source of joy.

Your support kept Evergreen going and Evergreen kept Mike going. There is no doubt in his caregivers’ minds that without Evergreen, Mike would either be isolated in a nursing home, or no longer alive. Thank you for helping us save this precious life.