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Funding To Help Paralyzed Single Dad With Wheelchair And Van Modifications

by Michael Hentoch
(Cortland, Ohio, USA)

I am a single father of two girls ages nine and 11. Lyra is nine and Harmoni is 11. I was always a hard working individual, working six and sometimes seven days every week.

I was married to my girls' mother for 10 years until substance abuse took its toll on both her and our family and we divorced. I love my daughters more than anything else in the world. It is because of them that I have such a hard work ethic.

I am now 35 years old and divorced for over three years. Years of hard work have taken its toll on my body and on me financially.

My girls and I still maintain happiness since we have each other.

However, we have been forced to endure many sacrifices of things that many people take for granted. I myself have been guilty of this too.

Disability Issues

Over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with major back issues. I was advised to seek a different career.

But all I knew was construction, so my hands were tied. In trying to provide a great life for my children, I became both a victim of circumstance and of progressive degeneration of my spine.

I continued to work construction, as this was the only job available. My job was one of the main causes of injuries that I endured for 10 long years.

Now I am partially paralyzed. I also have irreversible nerve damage in my legs and arms.

I have 15 herniated discs in my back. Three discs had to be removed and five vertebrae fused to salvage the little usage in my legs.

I am fused from S1 through L2. I am in need of similar surgery on my cervical vertebrae, C7 through C4 to salvage the use of my arms.

The broken discs are cutting and damaging my spinal cord in both places. This condition led to my having severe nerve damage and also Cauda equina syndrome too.

My physical problems are all due to working too hard, trying to provide for my girls and I. My girls have been my greatest support through all of this.

I am grateful for them as I am now fully disabled. I am on full Disability and unable to work any longer.

Financial Hardship

I am on full Disability. This income is far less than what I was making when I was working 70 plus hours a week.

During the time of my surgery I had no income at all. I was forced to go into debt to keep clothes and food on our table for my girls as we waited for disability to be approved.

My girls were at one point active in sports and extracurricular activities, which we had to stop. My girls are both on the honor roll and are school spelling champions. I am proud of them.

Unfortunately the amount of assistance is nowhere near enough to cover all of our needs, not our wants, but our needs.

I am in need of hand controls on my vehicle and a motorized chair for food shopping. I also need cash for clothes and taxable items.

I would entertain going back to college if there were any programs for individuals in my situation.

Income Efforts

I am on SSDI and get limited food assistance. I cannot work since I am unable to drive far unassisted. I am also not able to walk or stand for long periods of time.

I would appreciate any help and guidance to get some assistance of grants or donations. My girls and I are in great need of any positive steps.

Specific Needs

We could use any advice about grants, further assistance for schooling, motor vehicle modifications and wheelchair transports. Anything would be appreciated as it just myself and two children.

My family is not very available. My ex-wife is non-existent and she has no family of her own.

Thank you for reading about my situation.

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