2006-04-06 / Letters to the Editor

My hero, now an angel

My son Michael will never be forgotten. He fought a courageous battle with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. When he was a young boy and still walking, he enjoyed life to the fullest without knowing what was in front of him. None of us knew. At age 5, he was diagnosed with this terrible terminal disease called Duchenne. With no known cure, it slowly takes away all of the muscles' abilities. Through numerous operations, being confined to a wheelchair since age 8, never to walk again, he still never complained. He was also hit by a car on Narragansett Avenue and broke both legs when he was in his young teens. Last year, at Easter, his lift malfunctioned. He tipped over strapped into his electric wheelchair, and we all thought he would not have recovered. However, with the staff at Newport Hospital and the expertise of Dr. England, Mikey had recovered and gave us one more year to enjoy his presence. He still never complained. He was a true warrior. He was by far my hero, my son, Mike Jr.

My wife Cynthia and I would like to personally thank all the people who lit up Mikey's life and made his dreams come true: Mikey's brothers and sisters, Ammie, Paul, Cyanna, Alexis, and Jordan; his family, on both sides, and friends

We would to thank all my past and present employers for their support, General Dynamics, Island Rubbish Service, R.I. Air National Guard, and the Newport/Pell bridge, and any others along the way. Let us also thank his best friends Gil and Sammy, Sam and Patty, the VonHoffer's, Joey, Howie, Steve, and Slick.

We would also like to thank all of Mike's doctors, especially Dr. England and the Jamestown Emergency Medical Services for all the times Mikey needed their services; the PAC, Joe M., Elsie M. and Joan D.; Make AWish Foundation; Mission of Hearts, Newport Grand; Peter and Bobby Farelly, Jim Carey; and all the people who had previously donated to Mikey's causes especially when we fund raised for a handicapped van. We would also like to thank Wendy R., Kelly S., and Tammy F. for all their help with our little ones and all their love and support. To all of you who reached out to us in this most tragic time, thank you!

We followed through with Mikey's wishes and donated all of his medical equipment and his van to children in need of them through the M.D.A.

Michael Turillo, Mike's dad

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