New technology helps communicate patient’s life-saving or life-ending wishes

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Michael Gallagher’s medical troubles started back in 1988 while he was a young journalist covering the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns game. 

“I was knocked out. I was pelted by fans with dog bones and snowballs,” said Gallagher. 

Gallagher, who was filming the game from the sidelines, was hit by two players and fell into a rock hard and snow-covered dirt mound. The accident postponed the game for 10 minutes, causing upset fans to throw snowballs at Gallagher’s unconscious body.

When Gallagher woke up in a hospital, he learned his health would never be the same. 

“I developed a fracture of my jaw bone and I developed a thing called Avascular necrosis, meaning everything over the fracture line would deteriorate over time,” said Gallagher. 

And if that wasn’t enough, tragedy stuck Gallagher again in 2005 when he got into a car accident in Pennsylvania. 

“The back of my skull was cracked open. My jaw survived but more surgeries for those. In time, all those surgeries lead to what they believe now has caused my kidney failure which is now my real concern,” said Gallagher. 

Now, 47 surgeries, 6 children and countless medical issues later, Gallagher knows the importance of making his own decisions if he ever finds himself back in a hospital and incapacitated. 

“That’s tough to throw on six kids and say ‘what do you do?’” 

Gallagher, tells 8 On Your Side, he now carries a MIDEO Card, a new technology that helps him relay his medical wishes to healthcare providers. 

“It gives them exactly, hearing from me, what I want,” said Gallagher. 

The MIDEO Card, founded by Dr. Fred Mirarchi, includes the patient’s name, picture, date of birth, relevant medical history, contact information of the patient’s PCP, health care agent, attorney, and Dr. Mirarchi. However, one of the most important features on the card is the QR code. Once scanned, a short video featuring the patient’s wishes will begin to play to either accept initial life-saving care or proceed with end-of-life care. 

In the state of Florida, if a patient is incapacitated, a DNR can be signed by the patient’s guardian or legal surrogate. 

An investigative report earlier this year conducted by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians accused Florida, professional guardian, Rebecca Fierle, of signing DNRs without the permission of her wards or their families. Gallagher says the MIDEO Card will prevent someone from making life-ending choices for him. 

“I am a poster child for the National Kidney Foundation but I am probably the perfect poster child for the Mideo card and the advantages it provides.” 

Gallagher now spends his time as a multimedia journalist in the Tampa Bay area and often finds himself back on the sidelines covering football.  

If you would like to connect with Gallagher, visit his Twitter page here.  

The MIDEO Card now has patients in 19 states and works nationally and internationally. To learn more about the MIDEO Card, visit their website.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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