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Mr. Mercedes delivered its fair share of frights in its first two seasons on Audience, but a seriously scary event went down behind-the-scenes earlier this month when a member of the crew was seriously injured. Special effects technician Mike Wilks was electrocuted during a scene gone wrong on March 2, and he credits his coworkers for going the extra mile to save his life.
Mike Wilks was reportedly injured when he was in a Condor lift while working in man-made rain for Mr. Mercedes Season 3. The lift got too close to adjacent power lines, which sent bolts of electricity into the machine. The bolts went into Wilks' hands and feet through the machine. The electricity apparently ran through his fingers before traveling through his body and exiting via his toes.
In the days since the incident, he has undergone multiple surgeries on his hands and his feet, although his feet were permanently changed by the ordeal. Four toes had to be amputated. Mike Wilks, who is married with three daughters, shared some details of what happened to him in a Facebook post (via Deadline):
I was rag-dolled into a ditch by the second blast. Three crewmembers selflessly jumped into the still-charged ditch water and pulled me out. I credit them for saving my life. Jeremy Ralstin, Vinny Lotito and James Thomas – thank you for allowing me to get back to my family. Thank you for saving me.
Mr. Mercedes apparently employs some very brave men on the Season 3 crew! Three of Mike Wilks' coworkers jumped into charged water to rescue him, despite the very real danger to their own lives. If not for their willingness to risk their lives to save his, Wilks almost certainly would not have lived to return to his loved ones. As awful as his injuries are, the crisis could have ended even worse for Wilks' family.
Mike Wilks has received an outpouring of support as he heads into recovery as well. A GoFundMe page was set up on behalf of his wife, with the goal of raising $30,000 to help with "medical and personal bills while he recovers." In the twelve days since the page went live, the goal was surpassed, and $35,860 has been raised. At the time of writing, 210 people contributed, and the page has been shared a thousand times.
Many have also shared comments, expressing encouragement and sympathy in the wake of the accident. The man himself didn't spare any details when sharing the extent of the damage. Here's how Mike Wilks enumerated his injuries:
I have a big hole in my right wrist from an exit and reentry, backs of both hands have third degree burns, wedding ring was seared to the bone and had to be cut off, both feet have third degree burns from halfway up my feet to the toes. Four toes suffered 4th degree burns due to the exit of the electricity. I suffered a torn groin muscle, bit through the sides of my tongue and have numerous bruises because I was rag-dolled into a ditch by the second blast... I’ve had three surgeries so far trying to save some toes. At present, I’ve lost three on my right foot and one on my left. There are many more surgeries to go before they actually are able to do a graft from me. It’s all cadaver skin right now. Same as my right wrist. They dug out a huge hole of dead cells and have it covered for now, waiting till there’s enough new cells to cover with a graft from me. The doctors and staff in this Augusta hospital have been great in healing me, feeding me and just plain listening to my aches and pains. They are my current heroes.
While his coworkers are credited with saving him on the scene of the incident, Mike Wilks revealed that the doctors and staff at the hospital are his "current heroes." It sounds like he's in for a long stay at the hospital, as he's not done with surgeries and he still has to have a skin graft.
All things considered, Mike Wilks comes across as quite determined in the aftermath of what could have been a fatal incident. He has what is likely a long and painful journey ahead of him, but he seems ready to tackle whatever comes his way. Hopefully his future surgeries and grafts will be as painless as possible.