On Oct. 1, Mike ReQua was cutting down a large tree on his property when it snagged the tree next to it. The tree instantly snapped it off and struck him from behind, leaving him with multiple life-threatening injuries.
He was LifeFlighted to Maine Medical Center for emergency surgery. The tree burst his T6 and T7 vertebrae and they fused his entire thoracic spine. The force broke his scapula, clavicle, sternum, tibia, fibula, and multiple ribs. He also suffered severe internal injuries, including a collapsed lung, blood clot, and perforated intestine. The days thereafter, were flooded with complications and two additional surgeries. Within days, Mike learned that he might not walk again.
All his life, ReQua, of Edgecomb, has been a resolutely self-reliant, hardworking, independent individual, both in his personal life and in his career as a highly respected Maine boat captain with a 100-ton Merchant Marine Masters’ rating. Through moments of grief and regret, ultimately ReQua chose to embrace the news with humility and gratitude. He also, of course, in true Mike fashion, has proclaimed that he will walk again. He has been in a hospital setting for 74 days and looks forward to coming home soon with a lot of nursing and home health care.
The accident has delivered a massive blow not only to ReQua physically, but also to the family’s financial situation. They continue to navigate the complexities of Medicare and supplemental insurance coverage, but find themselves facing a bottomless pile of uncovered medical equipment and medical expenses. Even with ReQua’s unprecedented spirits, the road ahead is long and unknown. COVID-19 has further complicated his care plan and options.
Most importantly, the family doesn’t think his chances of being able to walk again should be dictated by what insurance will or won’t cover. He has six grandchildren to chase around and a deep desire to live the life he feels ever fortunate to have.
The ReQua and Nickerson families have started a GoFundMe page at bit.ly/3mtigQy. The website does take 3% of donations. Direct donations can be sent to Mike ReQua Donation, First Federal Savings and Loan, 283 Main St., Damariscotta, Maine 04543. Even a small donation would help and if you are unable, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.
Donations will be used to give ReQua access to the best possible nursing care and home health care when he returns home. It will increase his odds of walking again, and at the very least, give him access to the medical care and devices needed to enhance his quality of life as he navigates this transition. This year has shaken the family in unimaginable ways, and universally it’s tested their patience, strength, and character. But it has also given them the opportunity to find moments of perspective and gratitude for all the love, support and caring that the family has already received.