DENVER, Colo. — This Christmas, while most of us are waking up to a tree full of presents and a house full of love, remember there are some who are not as fortunate. Mike Bechaver is unfortunately in that situation.
"I’m doing the best I can," he said in a Zoom interview while laying in a hospital bed. "I have moments when all I wanna do is just cry."
Life hasn't been easy for Bechaver over the last few years.
"I don’t have enough, well I don’t have toes anymore, but I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many surgeries I’ve had," said Bechaver.
The former truck driver was nearly 500 pounds. After weight loss surgery, Bechaver was determined to continue shedding the pounds.
"I would put 10 pound ankle weights on each leg, and then I will go for an eight mile walk every day, whether snowing or what," he said. "That was every day."
It was on one of his walks in April 2018 when his life changed forever.
"I was walking across the street and a pickup truck was coming up, making a left-hand turn and didn’t see me in the crosswalk," Bechaver said. "That was it."
That would start a domino effect of surgeries.
"It was supposed to be a one-time surgery, which ended up being five surgeries," he said. "I picked up an infection."
A blister in Bechaver's foot would later cause an infection.
"I woke up and my whole foot was black," he continued. "They took me to surgery and took my foot off and then it just kept working up."
Another infection would cause Bechaver to lose some of his second leg. Around the same time, he lost his wife of 15 years. One of the few bright spots for Bechaver during this time, he would later meet his future wife, Alison.
"We both needed each other," said Alison Ensey-Bechaver.
The two are apart this holiday because Mike needed yet another surgery, just days before Christmas.
"The family's at home, and the kids are all happy for Christmas," Bechaver said with tears in his eyes. "I’m laying here."
Surgeons at Presbyterian St Luke's in Denver were able to save some of what remains of his leg. However, Bechaver will have to remain in their care through the holiday weekend.
He says he's trying to stay positive even when there is so much negative.
"I can’t take it sometimes," Bechaver said. "I just do what I can. I’m like, 'Crying ain't going to help me, so I just push through it.'"
Feeling helpless at their home in Walsenburg, Alison hopes you at home will send messages of encouragement.
"He’s been through so much, and I just want to show him how much he inspires people because it’s not just me," she said.
If you'd like to leave a message of encouragement, go to the Denver7 Facebook page and find Mike's story. A comment or video message will go a long way.