Mike Groulx is the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back.
But now it’s his family in need of assistance. The Angus man is clinging to life in the intensive-care unit at a London, Ont., hospital after sustaining a severe head injury at a construction site in the Blue Mountains, west of Collingwood, Feb. 22.
According to family and friends, Mike — a former Barrie resident and the owner of home-framing company Groulx Construction — fell from the roof of a garage he was working on, fracturing his skull and suffering a brain hemorrhage. Mike underwent emergency surgery, but sister-in-law Carlee Lewis told Simcoe.com Feb. 27 that he is not expected to survive.
“We have notified (our) family that he will be leaving us,” she said, wiping tears from her face. “We’re all devastated. Seeing him like this is really hard. We’re trying to keep any level of hope alive, but it’s not looking good. My sister is doing her best, but she’s really struggling. His mom is doing her best, but obviously she’s struggling. When anybody has a tragic accident like this, it’s never something you’d want anyone to go through.”
Mike recently wed wife Charlotte and they have a 22-month-old son, Damon.
Mike Groulx, his son Damon and wife Charlotte. Mike sustained a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage after a fall on a job site in Collingwood Feb. 22. His family and friends started a GoFundMe page which has already raised more than $30,000 | GoFundMe photo
Lewis describes Mike as “the guy” you turn to for reason, comfort and understanding.
He just turned 32 years old on Feb. 25; his family made posters and gathered in hospital to eat cupcakes and sing “Happy Birthday” to him.
This, of course, was not the original plan. A devout Montreal Canadiens fan, Mike had never attended their home rink, Centre Bell. Charlotte had planned a weekend getaway to Quebec for the couple to watch Mike’s beloved hockey club play the Ottawa Senators.
“He’s a huge Habs fan; we always made fun of him for it,” Lewis said. “He was supposed to be at the game Saturday and was really looking forward to it.”
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development is investigating the incident and has issued one requirement and two orders to the constructor, Calibrex. Two requirements were also issued to the subcontractor, Kingsview Carpentry, spokesperson Jennifer Rushby said.
“As the ministry’s investigation is ongoing, we can’t comment further at this time,” she said.
Charlotte’s relatives, and best friend Alex Wilson, have organized a GoFundMe page, in hopes of helping Charlotte cover bills and offset some of the ancillary costs related to Mike’s treatment.
As of Monday afternoon, the effort has collected more than $31,500.
“Mike is a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend,” Wilson said. “He truly is a shining light to his friends and family. Anyone who knows Mike would instantly recognize his beaming smile and laugh. We are all hoping for a miracle and know that he is fighting each second to return to us. This will not be an easy road ahead for Charlotte and Damon.”
Lewis said she is “overwhelmed” by the level of support from the community so far.
“(Charlotte) never likes to ask for help; she’s super humble,” Lewis said. “She doesn’t want charity. I explained to her that even just staying in a hotel near the hospital is costly. What’s happening is everyone’s worst nightmare. People can really identify with how hard this must be; their hearts go out for her. She’s a young stay-at-home mom, only 26. They’re a beautiful family. We can’t take her pain away, but we can help with the everyday cost of life.”
For more, visit gofundme.com.