Lovell and Dianne Fleming
(Virtual Prisoners in their own home)

   

It was a sunny afternoon, April 15, 2010 that I accompanied two stair lift specialists to the split level home of Lovell and Dianne Fleming located  in Winston, GA.

The Flemings are both disabled and wheelchair bound who lives with loved ones after moving to Winston on March 1, 2009 from California.  Lovell, the father, is eighty-seven years old and his daughter, Dianne, is fifty-four.  They both reside on the second floor of the residence and are finding it increasingly more and more difficult to navigate going up and down the stairs to get in or out of their house.

Their present method of deployment is quite simple, just get out of their wheelchairs on to the floor and crawl down the stairs on their hands and bottoms.  It has been brutal, tiresome, aggravating and quite humiliating at times, but “it is what it is.”

Before re-locating to Douglas County to live with his son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Mary Fleming, Lovell had all of his money and savings stolen by his caregiver, after which, she abruptly vanished without a trace.  The Flemings have only recently received some guidance in applying for grant assistance to make some home modifications through The Watson Foundation, a non-profit caring and sharing organization founded by myself to address the needs and paperwork concerns of chronically disabled and economically disadvantaged individuals like the Flemings.

Dianne was tragically injured in a horrific 1989 automobile crash, whereby her small vehicle was blindsided causing it to roll over several times and when it finally stopped, she had been thrown from the vehicle and landed with her back against a large stone.  Needless to say, her spinal cord had been severed and at that moment she was paralyzed from the waist down.

Her father, Lovell recently experienced a very bad fall which resulted in a broken hip and numerous other injuries which further complicated their plight in getting up and down the stairs to leave the house.

Their spirits have been broken and their will to persevere has been shaken to its core.  Their bodies are being broken down from open wounds every time they go up and down the stairs and the humiliation of having to merely exist like this is becoming too much to bear.  They are in need of some relief and they need it right now.  There are three (3) options being presented to the Flemings, but they are unable to modify their home with their social security and disability checks because of the cost.

I can readily and easily relate to the Flemings for I too am disabled and physically challenged and was wheelchair bound for quite some time.  It was the God-given inspiration I received after not being given much of a chance to live after succumbing to a massive brain stroke on May 5, 2000, almost ten years to this day.  Three and a half years later, I succumbed to another stroke due to pharmaceutical negligence and it took another three years to get back on my feet again.  I later experienced pneumonia, severe shingles, several surgical procedures, but through it all, my faith in God never waivered.  “He chose me for a reason.”  The mission that I have been assigned is to attend to the least among us and I accept this not as a burden, but as my calling.  “I must leave them better than I found them.”

We must find a way to get this done in order to give the Flemings a better quality of life and some small measure of restoring their pride and their dignity and no longer will they be considered prisoners in their own home. 

Sincerely,

 

Larry Watson-Douglasville, GA
Founder of The Watson Foundation