Neighbors look after one of their own
Mike Shields, an El Dorado Hills teacher and resident of Fairchild Village is astonished and grateful for the overwhelming support offered by his neighbors, family and friends following an early morning car accident he was involved in on April 14, resulting in severe injuries to his back, foot, sternum and hand.
After surgery to his wrist and a week-long hospitalization, Shields was sent home from the hospital with doctors’ orders to lay flat on his back for three weeks to heal a compression fracture to his spine. This was extremely discouraging news for Shields, an avid runner and cyclist, and a music teacher at Golden Hills School and Lakeview School, who also privately instructs students in piano and guitar.
His life as he knew it had come to a complete standstill and concerns about how to cope in light of this crisis began to increase his anxiety.
Then people in his community stepped up to the plate. As soon as news of his accident began to spread a plan of action was set in place by his next door neighbor Mary Howard and friends Terry Petlowany, Lorraine Quicksall and Lynn Greene. An e-mail was distributed and immediately meals poured in from the neighborhood, families at Golden Hills and friends. Schedules were created by Howard, who organized volunteers eagerly willing to provide round-the-clock care for him at his home. The response has been phenomenal and in his greatest time of need Shields said he’s so humbled and thankful to those who have come to his aid.
In 1995 when Shields made a decision to move from the Bay Area to El Dorado Hills, it was his desire to find a neighborhood community in which he could begin a new life and raise his infant daughter following the death of his young wife to cancer. His decision to make El Dorado Hills his home was one of the best he ever made.
Neighbors recall Shields being the person responsible for organizing many driveway block parties and summer games for kids on the street, and rallying guys in the neighborhood to play basketball on Sunday afternoons. Neighbor and close friend, Tom Farmer, knows how much Shields means to the neighborhood and the El Dorado Hills community.
“Everyone loves Mike,” Farmer said. “He is the most unselfish person I’ve ever met. He’s always taken an active role in making our community a better place to live and would be the first person to help anyone in need.”
The bond Shields has forged with his neighbors is tight and they were not going to let his injuries keep him from enjoying another fun Sunday afternoon with the guys. This past weekend, they wheeled his hospital bed from the family room out on to the driveway so Shields could get a little sun and enjoy the afternoon watching some hoops and chatting with friends.
Although he has a long road to recovery ahead of him, Shields said he hopes in time he will get back to doing all the things he loves.
Just recently he has been given the green light to start moving around. This week he took a shower for the first time in three weeks and is looking forward to getting back to normalcy. He is anxious to begin working with his students again and can’t wait to get back on his bike and take a ride with girlfriend Leslie Myrick.