Most of you know me, Mike Sartin, and for those who don’t know me, I’m a close friend of Wendy Hall. I have known her since we were students in Norris Elementary School. If you know Wendy, you already know most of this story, but for those of you who do not, Wendy finds herself in a serious financial crisis, not of her own making, and she needs our help, to get her through the next couple of months and help her get back on her feet. Here’s Wendy’s story.
WENDY HALL’S ACCIDENT
In 1994, Wendy Hall left her job as the Academic Officer for Marine Corps Intelligence Training in Virginia Beach, and returned to her hometown of Norris, TN, with a goal to go back to school at the University of Tennessee to work on a doctorate in Early Childhood Special Education. Unfortunately, while working as a Special Education teacher temporarily, in Maynardville, TN, she was hit head-on by an impaired driver while on her way to work on the morning of January 16, 1995. It took EMS 58 minutes to get her out of what was left of the car. Statistically, she had two minutes to live. Wendy is not a statistic. She had two badly broken legs, every bone in her pelvis and saccrum were crushed, with the exception of the right pelvic bone. She had a traumatic brain injury (from which she has compensated so well, I cannot detect it.) She survived the ordeal but multiple MRSA infections in her left leg resulted in a series of seven amputations.
WHAT DOESN’T KILL US, MAKES US STRONGER
Wendy started working on her PhD in Early Childhood two years after the accident. She now had a prosthesis on her left leg and was confined to a wheelchair and discovered that she had learning disabilities caused by the brain injury. She worked with the University’s Speech and Language Center for two years to train the undamaged portions of her brain to take over the functions of the damaged left frontal lobe. During the years she was working toward her doctorate, she went through two more amputations of her leg and other surgeries to repair damaged internal organs. After being granted a year’s extension, Wendy received her PhD in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education in December 2006.
WENDY IS A YOUNG GREAT-GRANDMOTHER
Today, Wendy lives in Thunderbolt, GA, to be close to her son, Jason Stooksbury, and her six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is only partially confined to a wheelchair She has become the primary care-taker of her 4 year-old great-grandson Kayden. His mother, overwhelmed by taking care of him, his 18 month-old sister and 7 month-old brother, has left most of the care of Kayden to Wendy, and now Kayden almost refuses to go to his home where his mother and step-father live. Kayden is a well-mannered, intelligent, child who is cooperative and recognizes Wendy’s physical limitations and does not take advantage of them.
WENDY REAINS ACTIVE IN CIVIC AFFAIRS
She helped to found the Thurnderbolt Tree Commission, developed a Polinator Gardern along the edge of the marshland. She remains active in her church.
WENDY WAS JUST GETTING BY, UNTIL . . .
Wendy lives in a modest three bedroom home in a quiet, safe neighborhood in Thunderbolt, near her son and four of her grandkids. Her only income is from a monthly Social Security Disability check. Recently, the Social Security Administration failed to process her student-loan deferment and reduced her income by 250.00 a month. It does not sound like a lot of money, but, when one is living from pay-check to pay-check, plus supporting a young great-grandson, it is a significant reduction in her income, which is now less that $1400.00 a month. She has been able to keep her head above water by renting out a room in her house, but her housemate moved out two months ago, leaving her to take care of all the bills which include rent and utilities, a cell phone. She gets help with food from Meals-on-Wheels which provides two meals a day for her but nothing extra for her grandson except to share those two meals with him.
Now, Wendy has run out of funds completely and has not been able to pay her rent for October. She has a new roommate who is about to start a new job and will hopefully be able to start paying her half of the rent by November. Wendy needs our help to get through this month and to get her bank account back in the black.
HELP ME HELP WENDY
The goal for this Go Fund Me is $3000.00 That is enough money to get Wendy over her outstanding debts and get her through to November, when the Social Security Administration says they will have they will have the error corrected and the $250 per month deductions, refunded. I wouldn't be surprised if she donated that money back to Go Fund Me causes!
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