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Boy, 11, hopes to receive Valentine’s Day cards from all 50 states

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ROCHESTER, N.H. — A Rochester, New Hampshire woman is asking for Valentine’s Day cards for her son, who is receiving treatment at a Hampstead facility that specializes in mental health, and her plea on social media has taken off across the country.

Mikey Hafner, 11, has been through a lot in his short life.

“We found out when we were 18 weeks pregnant with him that he had congenital hydrocephalus, which basically means additional water on the brain,” said his mother, Rebecca Hafner.

Mikey had several brain surgeries before he was 3 months old. He also has some mental health issues and was diagnosed with autism last year.

“He started having some increased behavioral issues, which led us to having to bring him to the hospital,” his mother said.

He spent six days in the emergency room waiting for a bed to open at a psychiatric facility. Hafner said she had the option of taking him home, but if she did, he would have lost his spot on the waiting list.

“It was just so frustrating, because you go into a hospital with a broken bone or something, and they can help you immediately, but you go in with any psychiatric help or crisis, and they make you wait for days or weeks,” she said.

A bed finally opened at Hampstead Hospital, where Mikey is now getting help. A lover of all holidays, he was heartbroken over missing Valentine’s Day at school.

“And I told him I would talk to friends and family, and we would see what we can do about getting him some cards while he was in the hospital,” Hafner said. “And that turned into him requesting that we get one card from each state.”

She took on that challenge by starting a Facebook group called “Valentine’s Day cards for Mikey.” Cards from across New Hampshire and a few spots around the country have been pouring in.

“I was planning on taking the cards and hanging them on his bedroom wall, so when he came home, it was just a whole room, a whole setup of love and encouragement and support,” Hafner said. “And I don’t think I’m going to have enough room now.”

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