For nearly 20 years my husband Ted was known as the workhorse and helper of our neighborhood. We were one of the first young families in our new neighborhood. If Ted was not working in our yard he was helping a neighbor. Even though Ted was a ceritified arborist with 15 years experience in urban tree care, accidents can happen. Tragically, eight years ago he was struck and paralyzed by a falling tree in a neighbor's yard. The outpouring of support at the time of the accident from the local community allowed for our home to be renovated to fit his needs. Friends, neighbors, and local businesses donated time and materials to complete the work during the 7 1/2 weeks Ted was in the hospital. A caring neighbor also started the Ted Smith Family Fund through a local bank for anyone to make donations. I don't know what we would have done without the help from friends. For this we are eternally grateful. It truly helped us survive a terrible time which has changed our lives forever. Since the accident in February 2007, Ted has persevered through rehabilitation and has learned to live with his circumstances. The whole family had to adjust to our new definition of normal. While he lives with pain daily, Ted has been difficult to slow down.
Unfortunately, new medical needs have slown him down. Mounting medical bills with rising out of pocket expenses are a constant concern. Ted has worn out his shoulders and elbows through the repetitive movement of a manual wheelchair. He is in need of surgery, as well as a new power wheelchair. While I continue to work as an elementary teacher, I foresee Ted requiring more assistance and medical care than we will be able to afford.
Disability does not come close to replacing the lost income of the primary breadwinner of the family; while medical needs continue to consume much of the family budget. The Ted Smith Family Fund account remained open at our local bank through 2007. This was before Facebook and crowdfunding sites were available to reach a larger audience. We are reactivating the Fund via crowdfunding to reach a larger audience to raise funds to pay for both Ted's immediate and ongoing medical costs. Thank you if you are able to show your support to help our family with these ongoing medical expenses.
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