Michael Galwel. Image WGRZ screenshot
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Michael Gawel on Road to Recovery After 67 Days at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

By: Tony Farina

After 67 days, mostly on a ventilator in ICU with Covid and complications, CPA and former Niagara Falls Councilman Michael Gawel left Memorial Medical Center on Tuesday, cheered by staff and friends as he was preparing for his next stop:  rehab at Erie County Medical Center.

”I’ll be in my office after Feb. 12 to work on tax returns, ” said Gawell as he lay on a stretcher, head held as high as possible, awaiting the next stop on his road to recovery.

His wife Michelle, who has maintained her vigil all 67 days as Mike fought to stay alive, was at his side with balloons and a big smile for Tuesday’s sendoff.

Also on hand was Joesph Ruffolo, president and CEO of Memorial, saying Michael was one of the longest surviving patients at the hospital.

There were many times during his days in ICU that family and friends were very worried Mike was not going to survive but he did, oblivious to the passing of his father on Dec. 12.

It was an unbelievable journey, but Tuesday was a great day for all involved and the hope now is that this remarkable and courageous man can return to life and resume all his activities, including as a leader of the city GOP committee.

The sparkle in his eyes Tuesday tells the story of his amazing journey.

About the author

Tony Farina

Tony Farina is an award-winning newspaper and television reporter, former chief speech writer for the NY Attorney General, and former First Assistant Comptroller for the City of Buffalo, in addition to being a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during the Vietnam War.

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