#MikeyStrong. That’s the hashtag that has been showing up on social media posts and other places as the Gustine community rallies around a local teenager who was seriously hurt in an accident with the hopes that he will one day return home.
Mikey Garcia is 14-year-old boy and a recent graduate of Gustine Middle School. He was a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle with two other youngsters on the evening of July 2. They were attempting to cross Highway 33 when they were hit by a pickup truck. Mikey took the brunt of the impact and sustained multiple broken bones as well as a traumatic brain injury. He was taken to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, where he remains. He has not yet regained consciousness.
“Everyday is a battle for him,” said his aunt Denise Garcia. “We just hope he gets the chance to come home. The whole community is heartbroken and pulling for him to pull through. His friends send us videos to play for him, just so that maybe he knows they are thinking of him. Everyone is praying for him.”
In addition to the prayers, friends and family have organized raffles, a barbecue and most recently a GoFundMe account to help offset the medical bills and expenses and any future needs the family will have for his care.
Garcia said her nephew, who is also her godson, was always personable and courteous and charmed people with just a smile.
“We have been hearing from his teachers at Gustine Middles School and they tell us what a great kid he was in class,” Garcia said. “One teacher told us that she got stuck on the side of the road one time and Mikey came along and made sure she got help.
“He enjoyed school and got good grades,” she said. “He was looking forward to high school and was eager to become an adult.”
Garcia said Mikey enjoys the outdoors and riding his bicycle and loves being a big brother to his three younger siblings and paling around with his older brother.
The outpouring of support from the Gustine community has been a big morale boost for the family as they continue to hope for Mikey to regain consciousness.
“We want to thank the community for all the help they have provided and the words of encouragement that they give to us,” Garcia said. “It means so much. It’s letting us know that we are not in this alone.”
The GoFundMe account for Mikey can be found at https://tinyurl.com/supportmikey.