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College student wins contest, takes sick mom to see Bon Jovi
Flowery Branch woman gets respite from fighting kidney disease
Nicholas Quatraro, left, poses with friend Avery Conrad after they fought in sumo wrestler costumes to win Jon Bon Jovi tickets Jan. 26 at a Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey game. Quatraro used the two tickets he won to take his mom, Michelle Quatraro, to the concert.

For one Flowery Branch woman, ‘Bad Medicine’ was good medicine.

Michelle Quatraro has been living with stage-4 kidney failure for four years, sometimes going through days when it’s hard to walk or stand.

On Wednesday Quatraro got a respite from being in and out of the hospital and doctor’s offices. The 47-year-old was finally feeling well enough to go see one of her favorite artists.

“I was very excited, happy and nostalgic,” Quatraro said. 

Her son, Nicholas Quatraro, won tickets last month to see Jon Bon Jovi in Greenville, S.C. Nicholas, a 19-year-old Presbyterian College student, won the tickets at a hockey game in an unconventional way.

“Some guy asked me if I wanted tickets, so I said yes,” he said. His mom, who has always been a big fan of anything 80s-era, popped into his mind immediately.

In order to win the tickets, Nicholas and his college friend Avery Conrad dressed up in sumo wrestler costumes and fought each other on a platform out on the ice. They had agreed beforehand to split the four tickets and bring their mothers, no matter who won.

Nicholas surprised his mom with the tickets over the phone.

“I think she was just shocked more than anything,” Nicholas said.

Since Nicholas was at school this week, he and his mom met halfway at a Walmart in Anderson, S.C. When they arrived at the concert, they met up with Avery Conrad and his mom Laura Conrad, who are from Clemson, S.C.

The Quatraros sat on the second level and had a pretty good view of Jon Bon Jovi, who they said put on a good show.

“He’s a great performer, but I think my mom had more fun,” Nicholas said.

Once the concert started, Michelle was up, singing and dancing along to the music.

“I thought she was going to have a heart attack or something,” Nicholas said. “She was wild.”

Michelle’s favorite song is “Bad Medicine,” and when that song came on she was able to go back in time to when she used to sing it in her car with the windows rolled down.

“I went insane. Actually, the whole arena did,” she said.

She also noticed Bon Jovi played a lot of newer music, but the crowd seemed to be especially excited by the older stuff.

“The audience was a much older crowd, definitely reminiscing on their heyday,” she said.

And Bon Jovi himself, who is now 54 years old, also looked a bit older than when she first started listening to him.

But she didn’t mind.

“Bon Jovi is like a fine wine: He gets better with age,” she said.

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