Grant To Help Stroke Disabled Police Officer Improve Living Conditions
by Kerry Harkey
(Clyde, Texas, USA)
I am a 47-year-old man, married to a great wife, Terri. Together we have two children, Jason, 25 and Sara, 21.
I was a Police Officer for 10 years. My duties included Patrolman, D.A.R.E. Officer and School Resource Officer.
It was a dream of mine at 10 years old to become a Policeman.
Achieving that goal gave me such fulfillment and a great sense of pride, knowing that I helped people.
Not to be able to continue in this career has been the hardest thing for me to overcome.
It was in 2006 that I awoke one morning with such a terrible headache. Our bed was close to the wall, and as I put my hand on the wall I realized that I could not see my hand.
I phoned my doctor and advised him of what I was experiencing. He told me to come in right away.
After the initial exam he told me that I was experiencing a ruptured hemorrhage, and that I should go to the hospital immediately.
After the many hospital tests they confirmed the diagnosis and admitted me into the hospital.
After my hospital stay I was sent to an optometrist to evaluate my eyes. The results of his exam showed that I had lost half of my vision in both eyes.
I spoke with my neurologist and he informed me that due to the size of the affected blood vessels in the eyes, that I would most likely not regain my eyesight.
The neurologist suggested I go to therapy to help me regain what I could physically, receive therapy for a stuttering problem brought on by the stroke, and get therapy to help me learn to adjust to the loss of vision.
The stroke also caused a social anxiety disorder. I cannot stand sudden loud noises, large noisy places or large crowds of people.
My doctor said that due to the severity of damage caused by the stroke, that I should have no problems getting on Social Security Benefits. I applied and shortly there after was put on Social Security.
Up to the point of my stroke I was the one that drove everyone to appointments, grocery store, and church. Now that I have had a stroke it is up to my wife to drive us everywhere.
Not only does she drive me, she also has to drive her stroke-disabled mother to her doctors' appointments, hair appointments, the pharmacy and the grocery store.
This is part of the reason that my wife can't work, not to mention that she is a diabetic and suffers from severe leg and feet pains due to neuropathy.
Our housing situation is very bad too. We are currently renting a doublewide mobile home. This house is literally falling down around us.
The floor recently gave way under me and I fell through almost to the ground beneath.
The house has a window unit for air, and propane for heat. When winter comes I am always trying my best to find help with getting some propane for heat.
It is impossible for us to fit in an extra $400 to buy propane. With the only income being $1160 per month, after bills we are usually broke.
I have tried to find work that I can do from home, but I have yet to find anything.
I have often thought about going to work at a fast food restaurant, but my wife reminds me that when I am put in a stressful situation I start stuttering and get very anxious.
I have received help from my family and church. They have helped us to get propane and food.
We are receiving food stamps to help us be able to stretch our money a little further.
My wife and I are seeking a grant that can help us to buy a home, a place that is more stable and energy efficient than this mobile home we live in now.
To be able to free up the amount we spend on rent each month would allow us to live a little more comfortably.
The grants/benefits would also allow some extra money to finally be able to get my wife some much needed dental work and some help with the neuropathy she suffers from.