• Community spreads joy to firefighter injured in motorcycle crash

    By: Peter Daut


    A local firefighter who was critically hurt in a motorcycle crash got a Christmas surprise Monday.

    The last two months have been a struggle for Mike Demartini and his family but their spirits were lifted by a special Santa drop.

    Firefighters and Santa's helpers loaded a truck filled with holiday blessings for the family of Demartini.

    The Charlotte and Waxhaw volunteer firefighter nearly died in October after a motorcycle crash in Stanly County.

    Since then, he's undergone several surgeries to his head and body.

    Medical expenses have made it tough for Demartini to afford gifts this Christmas for his three kids.

    So when fellow firefighters and Santa arrived at his home, Demartini could barely contain his gratitude.

    "It's just outstanding to know that something this horrible can happen to somebody, but you have all these firemen to take care of you and your family," Demartini said.

    Firefighters, who gathered and collected the donated gifts, said they got as much out of the surprise as the family did.

    "You count your blessing sometimes when you see other people suffering. You say 'OK I'm pretty lucky,'" said Jessie Thorton with the Charlotte Fire Department.

    Demartini still needs extensive physical therapy, but says the kindness shown to him and his family is a milestone on his difficult road to recovery.
    "Someday, I want to be able to look at all of them and thank them for what was done for me, and what a spectacular Christmas my family will have this year," Demartini said.

    Firefighters collected about $3,000 in donations.

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