2012-06-07 / Front Page
Local stuntman suffers life-threatening injuries
Fundraisers planned to help with young man’s care
Sharon Gaboff did not have a good feeling onApril 21. Her friend and fellow Millstone Township resident Jackie Hundertpfund reminded her that Gaboff’s son was doing a big stunt for an online commercial for the “Knight Rider” film that day in California.
Gaboff, a native of Manalapan, called her son, whose stage name is “Crazy Mike,” at 8 a.m. Pacific Time and asked him not to do the stunt.
Gaboff, who is the founder of Adopt a Pet, an animal rescue group, and the owner of Enchanted Paws pet groomers in Freehold, said she never did something like that before in all the time her 25-year-old son has been performing or doing stunt work.
It turned out her mother’s intuition was right.
Three-and-a-half hours later, she received a call from California and was told, “Mike didn’t do well” in the stunt and was being taken by helicopter to a trauma center.
“Didn’t do well” was a euphemism — Gaboff said the doctors did not think Mike would live.
For four days, it was a struggle for life. His injuries include a broken neck and back, two broken arms, a broken pelvis, ribs, ster- num and second-degree burns. Gaboff said her son, who is a 2005 graduate of Allentown High School, was doing a stunt that involved riding a motorcycle off a ramp equal to the height of a six-story building, catching fire and landing in a lake.
However, Mike overshot the lake and landed on the ground, she said.
Mike Gaboff has no insurance, and the family has learned that the production company may deny workman’s compensation, according to his mother.
She said an attorney is looking into the situation, but she has been told it could take years to resolve.
Meanwhile, Gaboff said she has been told that Mike’s prognosis is good, but recovery could take years, and it will be at least six months before he can start rehabilitation.
Currently, he is non-ambulatory and non-weight-bearing on all of his limbs, she said.
Still, as a volunteer emergency medical technician, Gaboff knows how lucky her son is to be alive. Three of his injuries were life-threatening and she said she has known people who have died from just one of those injuries.
The Gaboff family has been back and forth to California since the accident and needs to raise $25,000 to bring Mike back to a New Jersey facility so he can begin the recovery process near his loved ones.
Anyone interested in helping may contact firstname.lastname@example.org and make a non-tax-deductible gift to the Gaboff family at Brunswick Bank & Trust in Freehold or by mail to P.O. Box 6384, Freehold, NJ 07728.
The family is planning fundraisers at Applebee’s of Manalapan and at T.G.I. Friday’s of Freehold Township in June. The first fundraiser will be a pancake breakfast to be held on June 16 at Applebee’s, Route 9, Manalapan.