50 Year Old Disabled Navy Veteran Seeks Help To Repair Home And Make Accessible
by Mark Pennington
(Bellevue, WA, USA)
I am 50 years old, turning 51 next month. I am married and have 5 kids and 9 grandchildren.
I served in the US Navy as a Russian Linguist and was honorably discharged.
I live in an older rambler in Bellevue, WA with one or two of my grown children and 5 of their kids.
I am a diabetic with severe neuropathy. I cannot feel below my knees. I am living with End Stage Renal Disease, which I am treating with peritoneal dialysis.
After a number of falls, and infections, it was finally determined that I had a MERSA infection in my back (L4-L5).
A disk was removed and replaced with titanium and pins were inserted and a cage built around the whole mess.
After surgery, I struggled back from a power-chair to using a walker and received physical therapy. However, falls kept landing me in the hospital and in greater pain.
Now, I am mostly wheelchair bound, only using the walker for brief distances, as I am considered too unsteady on my feet
I work full-time in the computer industry but feel I have had to pass by chances for advancement because I cannot drive myself to and from work. Our vehicle is not configured for that.
I make enough money to pay the bills and help support the extended family, but there is never enough left over for home repair or improvements.
My doors are too narrow for my wheelchair, making it necessary to use my walker and risk falls.
I cannot use the bathtub. I have fallen too many times getting in or out. My wife has to bathe me by pouring warm water over me as I sit on the toilet.
Her health is compromised due to a hart condition for which she received a pacemaker
I am employed full time and work mostly from home. However, after mortgage and bills, there simply aren't funds left to retrofit a bathroom
I need financial assistance to make my home barrier-free: widen the doorways, smooth out the driveway (the scene of at least 5 bad falls), replace my bathtub with a walk/wheel-in shower, install a few handrails.
I would prefer low-interest loans, but would not turn down outright grants.