LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) - A Lake Wales boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit by a Jeep last year, has received a heartwarming video message from one of his favorite superhero actors, Ryan Reynolds who stars in the Deadpool movies.
The accident happened in the days after Hurricane Irma moved through. It was Sept. 17, 2017, and the power had just come back on. Michael Randazzo, 10, was very excited to go visit his best friends nearby.
“Normally I will walk him there because there is one point that he has to cross a street. But on this day I couldn't walk him because I was so behind on my homework,” said his mom, Jesse Randazzo, who was a student at the Art Institute of Tampa at the time of the crash.
Michael was hit by the edge of a Jeep as he tried to cross a road near his friends’ house.
“He was so close to NOT getting hit that a lot of people thought that he was lucky enough to avoid getting hit. It spun him around, snapping his femur and pelvic bone. His head hit the hood and his collar bone broke,” said Jesse in a blog about Michael’s accident and recovery.
Michael was critically injured and had to be airlifted to a hospital after he was hit.
“The neurosurgeon came in and told us that in order to give Michael a chance at survival they had to remove the entire front part of his skull to allow his brain to swell. Once the swelling went down then they could replace it,” said Jesse.
The accident left her son brain damaged and unable to talk. “My heart breaks, still to this day, every time I look at Michael.”
Now, as Michael continues to recover from his injures, he’s received an inspiring message from actor Ryan Reynolds, who plays movie super hero Uncle Deadpool in the Deadpool movies.
Michael's cousin Anthony Foreman contacted Reynolds. Foreman said last week was the 1-year anniversary of Michael's accident. Foreman was on Facebook looking at photos of people wearing t-shirts supporting Michael's recovery when he got the idea to contact the actor.
Michael's mom told WFLA.com she thought Foreman's request to Reynolds was a nice gesture, but she didn't think anything would come of it.
"I said, 'That's cool, but he's not going to do anything'," said Jesse recalling her conversation with Foreman.
But then, Ryan Reynolds responded with a heartfelt video recorded with a cell phone.
“Hey Michael, Ryan Reynolds here, also known as Uncle Deadpool. I’m sending this video because I’ve been reading about your story through your mom. Man, you’ve been through more in your short life than most people have been though in their entire lives and I just want you to know that I’m thinking about ya. That I love you, that Uncle Deadpool loves you. I hope you’re hanging in there pal and I also hope I get to meet you in person one of these days. It sounds like you’re a pretty special guy. The people in your life love you very, very much.”
Foreman is thrilled that the actor took the time to send the video.
“He's our cousin and we've been praying for Michael,” said Foreman. “Mr. Reynolds is such a humble and gracious individual. He took time from his busy schedule to send Michael a little shout out. Ryan is a great guy, he loves his fans, he loves kids, he cares. Our thanks again to Ryan - we truly appreciate it," Foreman told WFLA.com.
"It was extremely touching," said Jesse.
"It kind of makes me sad though. He can't talk or anything," she said of her son. "I can imagine how excited he would be if he was his old self."
Michael’s family is selling t-shirts to raise money for his medical care. Learn more here.