The financial challenges that Mike and Sue Reifsnyder have faced since his work lay-off last fall took a back seat last week when Mike miraculously survived a late-night automobile accident that left a telephone pole in three pieces and earned him a chopper ride to the famous Bal’mer emergency care facility.
Mike has been working nights to make ends meet, and as he drove home in the early morning, he rounded the bend of a two-lane Carroll County road to find high beams blinding his vision. Unable to see the lines on the road, he steered so that he would be to the right of the oncoming car. The problem was the car was in his lane, so he unknowingly drove off the pavement and hit seven mailboxes and then got personal with a telephone pole.
Thanks to the airbag deployment and the fact that he was wearing his seatbelt, Mike survived the crash. In fact, he never lost consciousness, and he soon was on the phone with Sue. She in turn contacted Carroll County 911 calltakers who relayed Mike’s medical history to incoming units. The first-arriving county sheriff utilized his emergency medical technician training to quickly decide that Mike needed first-class care and fast. Within minutes, Mike was in the air with some of his new paramedic best friends en route to Baltimore.
Sue called me the next day and suggested that I sit down before she told me the news. Mike had several broken ribs, and the docs were working on his collapsed lung. Sue has been working at a local grocery store, and the joint burden of long work hours and almost losing a husband had her worn out. I immediately made plans to visit them.
Mike was released home last Tuesday, and he is recuperating on a rented hospital bed set up in the couple’s guest room. Sue sleeps on a studio bed beside him, using her nurse’s training to check him every three hours or so during the night. Mike gets up during the day to eat and to feed the two therapy sheep that they had gotten to soothe troubled kids. Now, the sheep pull double duty soothing Mike, too.
What’s the future for them? Mike and Sue are living one day at a time, hoping they can keep their house. They get help caring for the animals, and have cut expenses as far as they can. Oh, did I mention that Mike lost his health insurance when he was laid off, and he was deemed ‘uninsurable’ when they searched for replacement coverage? They hope the new health care legislation will give them some relief.
In the meantime, please pray for them and add Mike Reifsnyder to your prayer list. If you would like to help them in other ways, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sue has written a book for children about raising sheep. I’ll be selling it out of my pens at Maryland Sheep and Fool Festival. We can also do mail order. In addition, Sue sells Tupperware, so a purchase from her is another way to help. Here’s a link to her Tupperware website: Sue’s Tupperware website.