New Jersey – When Christine Treglia returned to her evacuated home after Sandy blasted through, she found a heart-wrenching note from a man named “Mike,” asking whoever found the note to pass it along to his father.
It was a farewell note from a man who had been sucked from his home by the freezing current, a man who didn’t think he would survive the storm.
At the bottom of the letter was a phone number for Mike’s dad, Tony. Treglia saved the note and posted it — along with this message — on her Facebook page:
“This was my house that Mike found refuge in. We found this letter and 2 others in our home along with “help me” signs posted to our windows. We called immediately and were so relieved that Mike was safe and made his way home.”
The letter reads as follows:
“Who ever reads this I’m DIEING — I’m 28 yrs old my name is Mike. I had to break in to your house. I took blankets off the couch. I have hypothermia. I didn’t take any thing. A wave thru me out of my house down the block. I don’t think I’m going to make it. The water outside is 10ft deep at least. There’s no res[c]ue.
Tell my dad I love him and I tryed get[t]ing out. His number is ###-###-#### his name is Tony. I hope u can read this I’m in the dark. I took a black jacket too. Goodbye. God all mighty help me.”
Mike, 28, was later contacted by 92.7 WOBM radio station’s Justin Louis, who asked the man who thought he was going to die to tell his story of survival.
The beginning of Mike’s story begins in his home. His home started to flood; his kitchen was under water. Mike said that he was “in the water for like four hours.” When he thought his whole house was going to flood, he went to look out the front door. But when he opened it, he was sucked from his home “all the way into the bay.”
He tells Justin that he was in Green Island, Toms River and that the current took him all the way across the bay in “the middle of nowhere” with no lights. Mike finally managed to get himself into another house, but it, too, was flooded so badly he was forced back out into the storm. Mike notes that he just “really, really needed a break. Because waves kept going over [his] head.” He added , “I wish I had pictures.”
Finally, the current led him to Treglia’s home, which had been evacuated. Mike commented on the number of blankets and towels he found lying on the couch, feeling as though whoever lived there knew intuitively that someone would need their house for refuge. “I was swimming for so long. I was so cold, my friend,” he told Justin.
“I was so cold. I was so cold, I thought I was just going to freeze right there. But that lady, I felt like for some reason, she knew someone was going to be in that house. She had these wool blankets all over the place. And I just wrapped myself in them.”
By the time Mike managed to get himself into Treglia’s house, he was wearing only one article of clothing and freezing. He wrapped himself in blankets and, in the dark, penned the note to his father.
“I just went in their house, trying to find anything I can. She had towels on the couch. I just wrapped my body with the towels. Anything. I was so thirsty because I drank so much salt water. I didn’t think I was gonna make it. I called my father right before all this happened, and I said, ‘I ain’t gonna make it. Let me please live life.’ “
After a few hours rest, Mike headed back out into the storm. Out in the water, he met a man named Frank, who picked him up on his waverunner. Frank took Mike to his home, giving him refuge from the storm.
“He’s the one who gave me clothes,” notes the thankful Mike. “They were really nice people, they put me by the gas stove. They were like, here are your clothes, here’s everything, hot chocolate, everything to keep your body up.”
When Justin Louis saw the story posted on Facebook, he was unsure if it was legitimate, so he called the number listed on the pictured letter.
“At first it went straight to voice mail,” Justin said. “But I had this feeling I should give it one more shot. Finally he reached Tony, and the happy father said, “That’s my son Mike!”
“He seems like a typical down-to-earth, mid-20s guy who is still pretty shaken up,” Louis said of Mike after their interview.
Now, that “typical down-to-earth” guy is being called a miracle.
Thanks to an open door, a few blankets, and a man named Frank.