ATLANTA - Thousands of Channel 2 Action News viewers responded to a report Tuesday about a good Samaritan who became paralyzed after saving the life of a little girl.
He has no insurance, faces months of treatment and thousands in medical bills.
Several viewers called to offer help after seeing Channel 2's Diana Davis' report about Michael Patterson, the man commended for rescuing a 4-year-old-girl being swept away down Euharlee Creek along the Silver Comet trail this weekend.
Wednesday, Patterson's mother told Davis how grateful she is for all the support.
"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," Vickie Jones Roberson told Davis.
barely left his bedside since the accident. Roberson told Davis that last night the reality of his paralysis hit her son him for the first time.
"He's not handling (it) that well, and the doctor said he was still in too critical condition for anyone to go in and discuss much of anything else with him," Roberson said.
Patterson was paralyzed over the weekend when he broke his neck on the rocks diving into a stream.
Patterson, a father himself, didn't think twice about going to get Javea Jones. His mom said that's just the way her son is.
"He has always been like that – someone else first," Roberson said.
Patterson, who had just started a new contracting job, did not have insurance. He now faces thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Roberson said her family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they've received.
"I'm blessed. Regardless of everything that has happened and that my heart is broken, I am still blessed. I know that because of all the people who have reached out," she said.
His mother said she's gotten
support not just from Atlanta, but from around the world, thanks to exposure on television and social media.
"You are all awesome, every one of you," she told her supporters. It's like angels taking care of an angel that they knew needed him," Roberson said.
She remains overwhelmed, not only because of Patterson's accident, but her husband's health. He has late stage cancer.
She was with her husband at Emory hospital, where he is preparing for major life-changing surgery. She admits she is overwhelmed and is digging deep to keep her faith and get through the very difficult months ahead.
Anyone interested in helping out the family can email them at FriendsOfMikePatterson@gmail.com.
Donations can also be made to the Mike Patterson Donation Fund, care of River City Bank, 228 N. 2nd Ave. SW, Rome, Ga. 30165.
A Facebook page also has been set up with updates on Patterson's condition.