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Disabled Man Going From Rags To Ditches Needs Grant Money For Self Reliance

by Grant Hopkins
(West Plains, MO, USA)

The present day is 32 years out of phase with my real world -- my world as it should be. Today's world is the sad tale of a disabled man going from rags to ditches, needing grant money for self-reliance.

Relax, get comfortable so I can vicariously dwell in your ease. First imagine the past when the country was involved in a precarious event -- the Vietnam war. It was the best of times and the worst of times depending on your perspective.

I was born February 25,1955 and therefore was eligible for the draft/lottery. I turned 18 before graduating high school, so I registered for the draft and luckily Uncle Sam said they wanted me. I had an exemption, though.

I fell off the garage roof in the summer of 1970 and was still in high school, class of 1973. I ambulated like a normal person, with just a bit staccato (strange) gait.

I do thank the government for making me feel like a normal kid. Only I didn't realize this until a car accident snatched my real life away through a none-month coma from July 1974 until March 1975. I had a massive bilateral frontal lobe contusion and the impact on my brain on the occipital lobe damaged my sight, memory and speech.

The hospital (Lutheran General, Park Ridge) dropped me while in the shower chair -- during a Code Blue was emergency that took the attending nurse to another patient. I was still semi-comatose so the medical staff thought I would be okay (at least not meandering 2 West, the rehabilitation wing/floor of the hospital.) Anyway I slipped to the floor and was strangling with the restraining belt around my neck.

Breaking my right hip at the leg joint later that year, I had part of the muscle removed because of ossification (animal to mineral calcification) in June/July 1975.

Then, when living in my own apartment, I got beat up robbed by a neighbor in the Mill apartments in Elgin. The police got him but he had legal immunity because he was a participant of a drug sting June 6, 2006. Let me reiterate the date -- 6/6/06. It made me think.

I feel like a Timex that "takes a licking, keeps on ticking." Either God has a plan for me or he doesn't want me there, yet!

This is a great country. They allocated three digits a month to exist and all I have to do is live in a ditch outside of town in the fringe where derelicts and drug addicts stay.

Except my sister is trying to rescue me. She brought me to her farmette in Missouri. Sound's like a Happy Camper story? Wrong. I feel like an imposition every moment.

The conditions are okay for the average dude, but difficult for me because they don't realize the junk they leave in the middle of the floor makes navigation treacherous. They also have half a dozen indoor dogs occupying furniture or floor space. I've fallen and hurt my C6 vertebrae -- the reason I was quadriparetic.

I can't live like this. Only the beauty of the West Plains area quells my voice. I have an interesting view of life considering all the trials. I'm not typical. In my convalescence I trekked out west to Tempe/Glendale, Arizona, to study for an external Law degree.

I was alive before 1974, revived 1977, slipped from life again in 1979 and 2006. Look sort of broken up but, too bad... "I am Somebody!"

Some government grant money or any other assistance for a person with disabilities would help me become alive again. I'm tired of spinning my retreads.

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Jul 25, 2010
Thank you folks for allowing me to feel successful!
by: Grant Hopkins

To be honest I was inspired by all the visitors said. However I did it with all of your help. I can't really take any of the credit. God did it. I just did the easy stuff. It still was a struggle, however.

Oct 19, 2009
It Makes You Wonder
by: Julia Brainerd

It's so sad that you even have to ask for help. It should be a natural thing for you to get the help you need. It makes you wonder. How does government let big business give big bonuses to people who don't deserve it? They blow billions of dollars on who knows what and we have disabled people who need a helping hand and no one will help. Let the bankers walk a mile in their shoes. Let them see what it's like to live in pain day after day, plus not being able to pay your bills. Your story touched my heart and you will be in our prayers.

Sep 07, 2009
Disabled Grandmother With You In Spirit
by: Carol Newell

I currently live with my son, his wife and their small kids. I also have back problems along with continuing illness. The Kids don't understand when "gma" is broken (sick) and when she is not things are different.

You would be a perfect person for the Independent House for those of us who can survive together, support each other and always have the understanding of the ways we have to live our lives.

Good luck and take care. Your family wouldn't have you there if they didn't want you. Remember however, to continue to find a way to survive within your limits.


Sep 07, 2009
Rags To Ditches Worthy Of Comment
by: Anonymous

This is the first story I've commented on. If all you say is true, then I'm sure you left out all the daily torture of pain and agony that goes along with it, both mentally and physically. I hope and pray that you get the help you need.

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