By August 2007, complications prevented him from working at all — possibly forever.
"I told him what had happened to me, and he said, ‘gee... I know what you’re going through, and I will help you out.’" Martino couldn’t talk him into anything straight away, so he began calling regularly, often just to chat.
It was while this was going on that Joseph contracted MRSA, a multidrug-resistant infection he wasn’t expected to survive. Because I knew him well enough I told him what hospital I was in.
He called the hospital, got my room number, talked to me in the hospital.
I remember this really well, because I was watching CSPAN and how the economy was going, and I’m sitting in this ICU room talking to him on the phone, and he’s talking to me like a good friend.
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On a warm summer day in 2002, in Charlevoix, Michigan, Richard Joseph’s bad luck began.