A Home Run for Aaron

People say on the third strike you’re out. But that’s not true with Mosaic on your side. When Aaron Mickle faced what looked like it would be a third strike, Mosaic helped him instead turn it into a literal home run.

Aaron had a tough life, his mother Gwen will tell you. Strike one: Aaron was born premature at just three pounds, and he struggled all the way through school because he was smaller and slower than the others in his class. Just when things were looking up in high school, his mother says the “unthinkable” (strike two) happened.

“When our family was returning from a ski trip, we were in a horrible head-on collision.”

Gwen, her husband Jack, and their daughter Ashley were hospitalized for nearly three months, but Aaron did not get to go home. He had a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for seven months before the family saw any signs their son was still there.

“We didn’t know if we would ever get him back, but we weren’t ready to give up,” Gwen said.

Gwen and Jack realized they would not be able to bring Aaron home, and he eventually moved into a long-term facility for people with traumatic brain injuries. At first, Gwen said, he seemed happy. But that changed over time, and he started yelling and throwing things, even hitting himself. It didn’t help that the facility had a high staff turnover rate, which didn’t build any trusting relationships for Aaron.

The final strike came when the facility said he had to move out, and the only option they offered was a nursing home. The Mickles were frantic.

“A nursing home? At his age? That was not the right place for my son,” Gwen said. “But I didn’t know where else to go.”

But Gwen got connected to Mosaic through a friend whose son (now deceased) had received services from Mosaic. Working together, Gwen and Mosaic turned what could have been a third strike into a home run—a literal home run in this case.

The Mosaic staff member she worked with “shone like a beacon,” Gwen said, reassuring her that Mosaic “is where Aaron would find a place to belong.”

There were hurdles, but whenever Gwen had a question, she reached out to Mosaic.

“During a time when so many people were telling me ‘no,’ the Mosaic staff members were really the only ones assuring me it could happen. They gave me hope. Everyone at Mosaic was ready to bend over backwards to help us be successful.”

Gwen and Mosaic found the perfect provider for Aaron, a woman named Vivian who knew him from his elementary school days when she was a part-time companion for Aaron. Mosaic staff did what was needed to quickly position Vivian as Aaron’s provider. 

“Everyone was dedicated to doing what was right for my son,” Gwen said. “Because of that, we are seeing incredible changes in his health and emotional well-being.”

Now there are no more trips to the ER because Aaron is dehydrated. He has also come off of some of his anxiety medication and is involved in activities outside of his home—something he had not done since before the accident.

“This is what I’ve always wanted for him, to be able to live a meaningful life. Knowing Aaron is safe and happy has also allowed Jack and I the freedom to have a life together in a way we haven’t been able to for the longest time.”

“It was meant to be that we’ve finally, after this long road, found our way home—a home that Aaron truly loves.”

That’s what I call a home run! I am proud of how our workforce responded to support Aaron and his family and help him thrive.

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