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97 donations

This fundraiser ended on 01/01/12

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Mike Bassani needs your help to get the rehabilitation necessary to recover from devastating strokes.

Please donate to help with Mike’s recovery so that he can come home to his family and friends who miss him!

Thank you all for helping to raise money to pay for his medical care and rehabilitation. Please encourage others to donate by posting a link to this fund raising website on your facebook page and/or email it to your friends, relatives, and co-workers. Thank you!

Mike Bassani, 51 years old, suffered two massive bilateral strokes which left him paralyzed and with speech and language deficiencies. He has a chance to gain back functioning if we act fast! Aggressive therapy is crucial in helping him to recover at a faster rate and will produce greater long-term results.

Mike is a devoted husband, loving father, brother and generous friend to many. Anyone who knows Mike can tell you that he is an outgoing, good natured guy with a big heart and a great sense of humor. He loves sports especially baseball and was a Little League coach for many years. In August 2011, two weeks before his 51st birthday Mike suffered two strokes. The first stroke, on the right side of his brain, left him paralyzed on his left side with speaking and swallowing difficulties. Mike was admitted to Naples Community Hospital and was making great progress towards recovery when he suffered pulmonary embolisms and another stroke a week after the first one. The second stroke was devastating and he was in a drug-induced coma for a week. Affecting the left (dominate) side of his brain, it left him with aphasia and cognitive difficulties.

Aphasia affects all modes of expressive and receptive communication including speaking, writing, reading, understanding and gesturing. The extent to which each of these is affected depends on the location in the brain where the stroke occurred and the size of the stroke. Cognition, (how we acquire language), and communication, (the use of language), are the underlying processes which may be affected in aphasia.

At the recommendation of his Neurologist, Mike was transferred to the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation (FINR) after being in the hospital for a month. At FINR he has started working with physical, occupational and speech therapists five days a week and has an RSA (Resident Support Assistant) with him at all times. He still has difficulty communicating and is at times confused, but he is making great progress. He is now beginning to speak and to have some movement of his left leg. He is starting to read and staff members communicate with him by writing questions/directions. Mike went from being in a coma to recognizing and talking to his family in just five weeks at FINR!

Unfortunately, Mike's insurance coverage is about to run out for his treatment at FINR.There are many rehab facilities but most are senior nursing facilities where elderly patients receive rehab a few times a week. Although he has made great progress he is still in need of round the clock care. He needs to be in a facility that can not only address his medical, physical and occupational therapy needs, but one that specializes in patients with neurological damage and offers extensive speech therapy for people suffering from aphasia. Mike is a young man, (he turned 51 in the hospital) and the hope is that with the aggressive rehabilitation that he is receiving at FINR, he can recover much of what he has lost in speech, physical and cognitive abilities and return home to a full and productive life with his family. He has developed a positive relationship and sense of trust with his therapists and the doctors and nurses at FINR which is so important to his recovery. To interrupt his rehabilitation, would be detrimental to the progress that he has worked so hard to achieve.

As anyone who has ever had a loved one with a catastrophic health issue knows, the medical bills are already astronomical. While Mike is fortunate to have health insurance, his policy has an extremely high deductible and out of pocket maximum and pays only 50% for many services. Like many other families during the recent economic recession, Mike, and his wife Gayle have experienced extreme financial difficulties in the past few years. Mike was previously employed for many years as a store manager for Sound Advice but after being bought by Tweeter they went out of business. He then went to work for HomeBanc as a loan officer but that company also declared bankruptcy. He was fortunate to eventually find employment at Denmark Interiors where he worked prior to the strokes. After an extended period of economic hardship, there are no savings or 401 K's left to cash in to pay his medical bills. Gayle works full time at a public high school as a secretary as well as a couple of Saturdays a month trying to make ends meet so that they don't lose their home. She has applied for Social Security Disability for Mike but there is a three month waiting period before they will even begin to process a disability claim for a stroke. After that, the earliest that he would start receiving benefits would be six months from the time of the disability if his claim isn't denied the first time around. We have been told that he does not qualify for SSI or Medicaid or even Legal Aid.

Please donate! We are hoping to raise enough money to keep Mike at FINR until he is able to come home and continue his rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the prayers and support of our family and friends during this difficult time. We appreciate the home cooked meals while Mike was in the hospital, the gift cards that have helped pay for gas and the hotel near FINR during our weekend visits, the weekend dog-sitting from our friends and neighbors and the generous donations from family, friends and co-workers. We are also thankful for the cards, phone calls and kind words of encouragement from everyone. We love and appreciate each and every one of you and ask that you continue to keep Mike in your prayers.

Gayle, Dan, Jenn, & Dave

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