Accident Disabled Heavy Equipment Operator Seeks Grant To Exploit Skills
by Clark Thompson
(Hubbard, Ohio, USA)
At the age of 28, I was a young man working for the family excavating company. I was a heavy equipment operator, truck driver and a mechanic from the age of 16.
I worked running heavy equipment/ bull dozers/backhoes/excavators etc. I had gotten our company a job working for the railroad/Conrail in 1976/77. They were impressed enough with my operating that the boss wanted me to do more.
I told my boss about the railroad wanting to work me more. My boss said go ahead. But my boss wanted nothing to do with it then. After a few years though when I had four people and several trucks and machines working under my foremanship, the boss suddenly got interested because of all the big bucks he was making. I was making just over minimum wage at the time.
I even saw a need to mount rail wheels on a backhoe to get to places to work along the tracks. I found all the material myself and built the wheels on my own time. They worked very well. They made my boss (my Dad) a lot of money. I got nothing but my hourly rate.
Well I had a breakdown one day. The next morning I had to go to the shop to get parts and supplies in my car to fix the breakdown. On the way to the job site I was sitting at a red light when a car sliding on wet roads hit my car from behind.
My car was hit so hard it shot through the intersection. I was out cold. I came to wondering where I was but when I went to move I had terrible back pain. I told the policeman that showed up that I was hurting.
He made me get out of my car and into his car to talk because of the rain. Anyway I had a hard time moving. I wanted to go to the hospital but the policeman said that there was no ambulance service in that area.
Since my car still ran so I drove myself to the hospital to get checked out. I finally got checked out and was told the x-rays didn't show anything. So I went to work in terrible pain.
The next day I was on the job running a bulldozer when a guy from the office had gotten a call from my doctor stating that I was to quit working and go to his office.
I found out then that I had in fact gotten my back hurt. I had a compression fracture of T10, T12 and L4. I was in a brace for months when I was told I could go back to work. So I did.
Well I have to tell ya that I was in terrible pain all the time and my right leg was very weak. I worked on and off till 1991 when the MRI came out.
The results for the MRI showed injuries a lot worse than my doctor had known. It was almost 10 years since I got hit on 10/04/83 when my doctor told me that I was to not work anymore because of my back injuries.
Then I had to get workers' compensation. The doctor also told me that since I had the injuries to my back for that length of time that it was too risky to do any surgery.
By the time those people got to sending my checks I almost lost my home. Then I was off work for more than 200 weeks. Workers' compensation said I had reached the maximum medical improvement and dropped me. I was in the process of getting SSD at the time. So I had almost lost my home again when SSD finally kicked in.
I have a great knowledge of antique tractors and heavy equipment. I would like to start an antique tractor parts business and a tractor restoration shop. There is nobody within 200 miles of here that does this kind of work.
I am tired of being POOR and always robbing Peter to pay Paul. I would like a grant to start a real business as I described. I know it will go well even in these poor economic times.
I worked for my Dad in the family excavating business. I always thought if I took care of Dad he would take care of me. Well that didn't happen.
When I got hurt working for him he didn't care if my family/wife/3 kids and a house to pay for were lost. He basically kicked me to the curb. I have been struggling ever since. I have lost my marriage over this.
I have one last chance to make a few of my life's dreams come true. The way I want to do it is to start a real business and have a few employees do the work. I know several out-of-work mechanics that will work and do good work.
I will need around $175,000 to get this business going. I have applied for other grants from other places on the net but they turned out to be scumbags from another country preying on poor people. It always turned out they wanted money to send you information.
I gave a credit card number to one that was to be used for $1.90 postage. Well they tried to really rip me off. But the card company picked it up and saved the day.
Please consider me for the grant. I don't know how all this works. I can use your help in securing a grant to start my business and put a few people to work that badly need a job also. Thank you so much for reading my story. Clark Thompson.