My dad, Cleavland Carson, is the strongest, most intelligent man I have ever met. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago. He was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 years ago. Up until the last 6 months, Dad has been able to get around fine without any help, other than the crutch you will see in his photo. The Parkinson’s has now progressed to the point that he is wheelchair bound.
He went to the doctor 2 weeks ago by himself, and he fell to the ground and was not able to get up. Some other patients came out of the building and helped him into a wheelchair. After he was done at the doctor’s office he attempted to go to the medical supply store to look at wheelchairs by himself, where he once again fell and was laying on the ground in the parking lot until some customers came out and found him. He describes when this is happening as he feels like he is “melting” because his brain is telling his legs to work, but they are not listening and he holds on to his crutches until he finally “melts” to the ground.
To make matters worse, Dad had a major car accident when he was 17 years old, and he has lived and worked (very hard) his entire adult life with a fake hip that was put in 53 years ago. The doctors told him that he would have to get it replaced by the time he was 27, but it lasted all these years. Because of this injury, his leg is 1 1/2 inches shorter than the other. Now the fake hip is finally causing him issues which is only making the situation much worse and more painful for him.
He is now completely wheelchair bound which is a HUGE problem because he lives in a bi-level house. My 2 brothers and I are trying to raise the money we need to get the necessary home renovations done so that Dad doesn’t have to go to a nursing home. He is still Dad, very mentally sharp and the smartest man I know.
In order to make his house handicapped accessible for him, we need to have a wheelchair ramp built or a wheelchair lift installed, and his doorways have to be widened so he can get a wheelchair through them. He has an office that we have decided we should turn into a room designed for him. We need to add a handicapped accessible bathroom, and get him a hospital bed. If we can get these things done for Dad, he can still be somewhat independent, in that he can move around the house by himself, and go to the bathroom by himself. I want him to feel as independent as he can, because I want my dad around for many more years.
Dad worked for the State of Kentucky as a supervisor for the Office of Employment and Training for 39 years. He also farmed for many of those years, raising large vegetable and tobacco crops all in an effort to provide for my mom, 2 brothers, and myself. He was born and raised in Eminence, KY where his mom and dad were farm workers, and because of his upbringing, Dad always loved farming. I remember complaining when he would make me weed the crops or plant tobacco plants when I was growing up because I hated it so much. LOL Funny how I would give anything to be able to get out there and farm with Dad again. His fake hip never defined him. If he didn’t have the very noticeable limp created from having one leg shorter, you would never know Dad had such a severe injury. He used to always say, “Mind over matter. You only have a disability if you allow thoughts of yourself being disabled to enter your mind.” He is my hero and inspiration.
Dad’s insurance will not cover him getting in home care, like a home health nurse that he so desperately needs. My mom gives him baths, but she struggles with it as she is getting older too. My dad is much too proud of a man to ever let one of us kids help him with that. I think it’s an utter joke that he is a retired State employee who gave so many years of his life to our local government and to helping people in our community, and now can’t even get proper insurance coverage when he needs it the most.
I have looked into many different programs to see if we could get help by people volunteering the materials or labor to get Dad’s home renovations done, but since my dad is not low income, he does not qualify. Don’t get me wrong, just because he isn’t considered low income does NOT means he is well off. He and Mom make have just enough money to get them by. My mom is 69 years old and still working. My dad draws from his retirement fund.
Any help you can give us is very much appreciated. I am a mother of 7 who works 50 hours a week to support my kids. My husband is disabled due to an accident that happened 5 years ago. I cannot financially afford to give much to help my dad, but I can definitely give my time, my love, and ask for your help and prayers that we can raise the money we need. We need to do this ASAP as Dad is literally confined to his living room, and is using “alternate” means when he can to keep from having to get help from whoever is home or that has stopped by to make it down the hallway to the one bathroom they have in their house. My dad is amazing, and as I said before, very mentally sharp. He is my best friend. I call him when anything good or bad is happening in mine or my kids’ lives. He means the world to me. He and all of his family will be devastated if we have to move him to a nursing home simply because when he bought his house 37 years ago, he didn’t plan for a future that would entail him getting Parkinson’s disease and being wheelchair bound when he purchased his bi-level home.
PLEASE HELP US!! My God be with you and your family. Please share this with others, and if you can’t donate financially, prayers are ALWAYS very much appreciated. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read our family’s story.