Accident Disabled Woman Seeks Grant To Improve Life Ruined by Drunk Driver
by Bonnie Farnham
(Spring Hill, Florida, USA)
I am a 57-year-old accident disabled divorced female. I have a 37-year-old daughter named Charity Sunshine.
She has three sons, making me the grandmother of three teenagers. They are 18, 16 and 15, named Damian, James and Travis
I have two brothers and three sisters. My father passed away in 2008. My mother lives with me as does my younger brother, George.
My mother has Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. My brother George is my mother's caregiver and my live-in aid.
My life of disability began in 1983. I was on my way home from work, on the back of a friends motorcycle, in Port Clinton, Ohio, when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and we hit the side of the car.
I was thrown 369 feet, landed on my feet, then bounced 30 feet in the air and landed on my head.
After lying in the Port Clinton hospital, Magruder Hospital, until 8:30 am, I was finally life-flighted to Toledo Medical College Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.
Half of my face was tore off, my back was shattered in many places, I had a skull fracture, my legs were broken, numerous ribs were broken, my collar bone was broken and I had numerous internal injuries.
I can remember screaming in the most horrible pain for hours until finally I guess I went into shock.
I remember the doctors telling my mother that I wasn't going to make it and after the first 12-hour surgery on my insides, I can remember waking up smelling something burning.
I saw my intestines lying on the table beside me and they were lasering the damage that had been done.
When they realized I was awake they gave me more anesthesia and I don't remember anymore until waking up later in a room.
A doctor came in and told me that they had repaired my internal injuries.
During the next month in this hospital, I went through plastic surgery on my face and two 12-hour back surgeries.
In the first surgery, they removed the fibula from my left leg and put in two steel Harrington rods and wires and screws.
This surgery left me paralyzed from the waist down. I was told I would never walk again. They still hadn't set my legs they waited a month to do that!
Then the doctor said he thought there was a piece of stone pushing against my spinal cord, so they did another 12-hour surgery on my back.
They cut me in half, found and removed the chip, and most of my feelings came back. In this second surgery they removed bone off my right hip making me three or five new vertebra.
I was in the hospital for four months, along with rehab. I was in a body cast for six months, and leg casts for four months.
I was given many blood transfusions. I had died on the operating table when I was first flown there. It took me almost 4 years to walk with the aid of a cane.
In 2000 I found out I had Hepatitis C from the blood transfusions from 1983, Then in 2001 I found out I had third stage cirrhosis of the liver caused from the Hepatitis C.
I was very sick so the doctor put me on Interferon and Rebatron from March 5, 2001 to August 4, 2001 three times a week. It took me to the point of almost death so was stopped, but it put the Hep C in remission.
Now from the skull fracture in 2000 a world-renowned brain surgeon found AVMs, AVFs and aneurysms in my cerebrum, possibly caused from the accident and the skull fracture.
I have had eight microscopic brain surgeries leaving me with around 77 platinum coils in my cerebrum.
I am 100% disabled from this accident! My diagnosis is: failed back surgery syndrome causing peripheral nerve damage, fibromyalgia, pain everywhere, Hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver and chronic pancreatitis.
I am on medicine for life! I am on SSDI, Medicaid and Food stamps. This drunk driver took the joy out of my life, and replaced it with pain and suffering for the rest of my life.
I can't work, so I'm asking for help for a wheelchair accessible handicapped vehicle so I can get around with my power chair.
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