Good Samaritan who rescued 4-year-old back on ventilator

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA - The good Samaritan who saved a drowning 4-year-old girl is not breathing on his own.

The man's mother, Vickie Jones Roberson, told Channel 2's Diana Davis her son's recovery has regressed.

Her son, Mike Patterson, jumped in a river to save the child as his own son watched. Injuries from the rescue left him paralyzed.

Roberson said doctors have put Patterson back on a ventilator. Last week, he was sitting up in bed sipping a milkshake with his mother and step-father at his bedside. It's been rough going since then.

Patterson developed an infection and a high fever. On Tuesday morning, Patterson's mother told Davis doctors have put her son back on a ventilator to help him breathe and rest.

She also told Davis she is grateful for the huge online and social media response the story of her son has generated.

After watching Davis' story last week, a representative of media mogul Tyler Perry contacted Channel 2 Action News. Perry donated $50,000 to help with Patterson's recovery.

A spinal cord injury specialist told Davis that Patterson will need every penny and much more because he does not have insurance. Dr. Dale Strasser, of the Emory Center For Rehabilitation, said costs are staggering.

"There is the acute medical care costs, which are probably $10,000 a day. There are the extended rehabilitation costs and the rehabilitation and long-term-care costs. This could easily be $2 million to $2.5 million," he said.

On Tuesday, Patterson's mother told Davis that her son's spirits are down.

Last week, she choked back tears during an on-camera interview as she said the reality of what he and his 9-year-old son are facing was just beginning to sink in.

Strasser told Davis that emotional support for victims of devastating injuries is crucial, and so are realistic expectations.

"The individual has to come to terms with a different self, with a different reality and helping that person, letting that person find their way, is very beneficial," Strasser said.

It's too early to know when Patterson will be released from the hospital and where he will go for rehabilitation.



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