Family of local Army veteran asks community for birthday cards

Local News

KILLEEN, Texas – The family of a local veteran and Killeen business owner is asking for well-wishes in the form of birthday cards.

“He thought he was going in for this routine surgery, and he was going to wake up in a few hours. And for him to wake up a month later is going to be pretty scary,” said Brandy Hughes, Michael Wilhelm’s daughter.

60-year-old retired Army Veteran Michael Wilhelm went in to Baylor Scott and White Temple on May 14th for colorectal surgery. This is when things took a turn for the worse.

“Literally as soon as they put him under anesthesia, something happened. An allergic reaction. And his lungs just kind of stopped working,” said Hughes.

A viral infection has kept him in the ICU on a medically-induced coma for nearly three weeks.

“They should be waking him up soon, and he’s going to have a trach in when he wakes up,” said Hughes.

This is why his daughter Brandy took to social media.

Her dad’s birthday is June 9th, and she’s asking the community to send in well-wishes and Happy Birthday cards.

“We just want to have, like, the room, have cards in it and things like that, so he can read it. Cause he’s not going to be able to talk and stuff. He should know that people are thinking about him,” said Hughes.

The father of four and grandfather to nine children spent 26 years in the Army. He now owns Paply’s Gifts and Antiques in Killeen, and Brandy says he is loved by so many people.

“Just an overall sweet, loving, caring guy. He’s kind of like the backbone of our family,” said Hughes.

She says waking up and seeing so much love from his community will mean the world to him.

“I think that he will be completely overwhelmed, but he will be very appreciative of it. If the roles were reversed and it was somebody else, my dad would be one of the first people to be out there giving his hearts to people,” added Hughes.

Helping him heal – one card at a time.

“I’m just hoping that people will pray and send their well-wishes, so that when he does wake up that he will have that,” said Hughes.

If you would like to send a birthday card to Michael, you can mail it to his home at 3609 Plains Drive, Killeen, TX 76542 or mail it to his store, Paply’s Gifts and Antiques at 5505 S. Fort Hood Street, Killeen, TX 76542.

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