Grant For Accident Disabled Army Veteran To Build Goat Product Business
by Thomas Guadagno
(Jarrettsville, Maryland, USA)
I'm a 55-year-old God-fearing family man. I have seven children but only two are still at home.
I joined the Army when I was in college and served 11 years as a Criminal Investigator working narcotic interdiction for most of that time.
Our oldest two sons are married and live out of state. We have a daughter and son in college. Our second daughter lives with her mother and is in High School. My two daughters at home are in elementary school.
We have one granddaughter that we have only seen a couple of times because our oldest lives in Texas and neither of us have the money to travel.
God has blessed us with our children. All of them are at the top or were at the top of their classes.
In September 2009 I was at work doing beverage sales. This required me to drive my personal car to do business.
I was driving to my next client when an older woman swerved to miss a trashcan that had blown into the road, and hit me head-on.
I was knocked out for a short time and when I woke up people were trying to get into the car to get me out.
I did not go to the hospital that day trying to "tough out" what I thought was nothing.
Over the next few days I started having more and more pain in my neck and back so I reached out to an attorney to find out what I could do. I had to do this because my employer would not recommend a doctor for me to see.
After being examined by several doctors and going through MRIs and X-rays they found I had damaged three disks in my neck and several in my lower back.
I was referred to a neurosurgeon and he said I needed immediate surgery to repair my neck. He did a three level C-spine fusion. This operation did not relieve the pain; in fact it made it worse.
I was later diagnosed with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and Regional Pain Syndrome.
Since the surgery I have great pain in my head, neck, shoulders and arms, especially my right arm.
I also still have the lower back pain that now goes down my right leg and I have lost some of the feeling in my hands.
This being a Worker's Compensation Case it takes forever to get the proper treatment and of course their doctors are of a different opinion from my doctors.
Social Security did find me totally disabled and started benefits for me. We are now in the process of closing the Worker's Compensation case, which will allow me to get the Spinal Cord Stimulator my Pain Management Doctor, says I need.
I currently take Methadone, Morphine and Lyrica for the pain. Since the surgery I have been seeing a psychiatrist who has diagnosed me with severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
He has me taking Viibryd, Wellbutrin and Seroquel for my nightmares. None of my doctors see any great improvement in my issues in the near future.
Since the accident, we lost the one car we had left and have fallen so far behind on our bills we will never get caught up.
I receive Social Security Disability but this isn't enough to pay all our bills let alone buy food.
In September of 2012, Worker's Compensation stopped paying me any benefits as they feel I can go back to work.
It is only through the grace of God that we have a place to live. Our Landlord is a good Christian who was in a men's bible study I went to. He has lowered our rent for now so we can buy groceries.
My SSD benefits are just enough that we only qualify for $28 in Food Stamps. I don't drive so my wife has to be home to take me to the doctor's and anywhere else I have to go.
Because of this, she can't get a job.
We have had to sell some of my wife's goats for money to live on. This only hurts her business.
We pray as a family every day that help will come. We know God works on his schedule not ours, so we pray and wait for His grace.
I receive SSDI right now. This is all I can get, as I can't work.
Our church is very small. Several of the members have given us funds a few times but they can't afford to support us.
Our married sons are just starting their families and can't afford to give us any help.
Again, we qualify for $28 in Food stamps and nothing else from them.
My wife has tried to start a small home farm with goats and makes soap and lotion from the milk.
She has sold just one small bottle on eBay. As everyone knows it's hard to start a new business. So right now her little business costs more than she makes.
First and foremost we need everyone's prayers, as we believe prayer will help.
We are in need of grants or low interest loans that can get us out of the financial hole that we're in.
We really need money for our 11-year-old daughter. Not only does she need braces but also she is a very talented violinist. She was in the county Youth Orchestra but we can't afford her private lessons or the money it takes to keep her in the Youth Orchestra.
The bottom line is we need money. A steady income stream would solve the problems we have and allow us to live a somewhat normal life.
We really feel my wife's small business could provide the income we need in the future. What we need now is money to live on and money to expand our herd and take care of it.
We need more goats and a larger better-fenced area for them. We need to be able to advertise her business online. We need money for the organic oils and butters that she uses in her lotion and soap.
She would like to expand her line of products but again we need the money to buy the things she would need. She needs a vinyl banner that she can hang on our popup shelter that she uses when she goes to flea markets.
We desperately need hay and feed for our animals. This has become very hard for us. My wife and daughters pull weeds to feed the goats because we don't have hay.
The bottom line is we need help in the form of money that we can use for both living and the business.