According to WAGA-TV, Mike had just started a new job as a contractor two weeks before the accident and has no medical insurance. The family's financial situation is additionally burdened by the fact that Mike's dad has late-stage cancer, and his grandfather is bedridden. Still, the family hopes and prays that Mike eventually can go to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation.
Mike's family started a Facebook page, "Friends Of Mike Patterson," to give updates about his progress, as well as to raise funds for his medical bills and future rehabilitation. The headline on the Facebook page reads, "Let your faith be bigger than your fear."
A few days ago, a post there explained: "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." (Over this past weekend, Mike's temperature spiked to more than 104 degrees, his body fighting off infection.)
There's a photo circulating the Internet of Mike wearing a white contractor's helmet which reads "In God We Trust."
Yes, we do, Mike. And yes, we will.
The outpouring of love and support from the nation has been such that Mike's mother was nearly brought to tears as she explained to WSB-TV: "I did not realize that there was still kindness in this world like there is. I kind of thought the world had grown cold until this happened to my son."
It should be noted that Mike's act to save the young girl from drowning wasn't his first heroic deed. He recently witnessed a tractor-trailer T-bone an SUV, and he flew out of his car to aid the injured driver.
It's one thing to be willing to sacrifice oneself for a loved one, but it's quite another to do it for a total stranger.
No wonder the mother of the young girl who was pulled from the river said about Mike, "He's a godsend."
Indeed, Mike's life and exemplary actions remind me of the words of Jesus: "No greater love is there than a man who is willing to lay down his life for another."
(It's not easy to wrestle through issues of suffering and why bad things happen to good people. But if you want to read an excellent book with a lot of heart on the subject, then I recommend If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by my good friend Randy Alcorn. It is available for discount here.
Deadbeat dads and high-school dropouts? Sure, America has plenty of them.
But then there are those like Hussein, Amida and Mike. And what about all the amazing grads and dads in your community, too? Maybe there's even one living in your home.
In the new Superman blockbuster Man of Steel, the character Jor-El, Superman's biological father, asks: "What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater? ... Every person can be a force for good, free to forge his own destiny."