Society seems to have a fascination with superheroes, often these superheroes dwell within the fantasy realm. What becomes of the mortal superheroes? One particular heroic man is paralyzed after rescuing a four-year-old girl. No supernatural powers, no health insurance. Mike Patterson, a 43-year-old father and upstanding citizen of Rockmart, Ga., was spending time with his nine-year-old son when he witnessed a little girl being pulled underwater by strong currents.
According to Inquisitr, “He dove too deep ... Patterson ended up hitting a hard surface and broke his neck in three places as well as severing his spine.” He still managed to save the young girl despite his onerous condition. This isn’t the first time Patterson responded to his heroic instincts.
His mother further explains when Patterson was younger; he was driven to feed a homeless man diving in the dumpsters, among other altruistic gestures. Given several statements from friends and family explaining his previous altruistic actions, one may consider if he is susceptible to having an addiction to heroism.
In Science 2.0, Kuszewski discusses the personality of the altruist. She states, “They lack the impulse control to stop themselves from doing "the right thing" when it comes to the welfare of others, yet ironically, it almost always results in some form of negative consequence for themselves.” While this may present a more radical view of heroes in reality, it’s interesting to see how the personality analysis complements the character of Mike Patterson.
Patterson, who possesses a moral compass for heroism, is in intensive care without health insurance. There is a Facebook page, Friends of Mike Patterson, dedicated to raising funds for his hospitalization costs. You may be wondering why the parents of the little girl he rescued are not covering the costs. According to the Rockmart Journal, Carlisa Jones, the mother of the 4-year-old girl, is dealing with her husband “battling Stage IV cancer and will have part of his tongue and larynx removed in the coming days at Emory University Hospital.”
Mike Patterson has demonstrated his inclination to do good even if it places him in great danger. Should this alter society’s perspective on heroism? Supporting these figures in our culture is important as their altruistic impulses and acts are extraordinary. Mike Patterson deserves a right to lead a healthy life after saving a little girl; at the very least, to be able to come to the rescue of another helpless victim.