Paralyzed After Gunshot Wound

My brother, Richard, is a victim of a gunshot wound that has left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was shot in his side and the bullet wedged itself in my brother's spine. The bullet is still wedged there.

If you know my family at all, you know we're a mixed-bag of opinions, beliefs, world-views, careers, struggles, failures, losses, achievements, wins, successes...and the list goes on.

With a complicated background, marred by addiction, my brother does not have the resources to help aide in the massive adjustments that are required and currently unfolding. He's having to rely on the "system" for all medical needs and limited, never-timely public benefits. He has not been approved to see a doctor or begin rehab for over two months now. I'm sure his limited resources and the COVID-19 pandemic are causing a massive delay in his care.

He continues to deal with immense pain, discomfort, and the psychological and emotional turmoil this incident has brought about.

Given his limitations, both financially and physically, our mother has stepped in to  give him a place to live and round-the-clock comfort while he waits for access to specialists that can help design a plan for his spine and the bullet that has so drastically impaired my brother.


My mom is a badass - never takes no for an answer or a doctor's prognosis as finite. She hardly ever sits down and she'll never say no to a project. Although in her 70's, you'd think she was in her 30's and ready to get to work, no matter what needs to be done. Though she's a trooper, she is not physically capable of helping my brother in/out of the house or vehicles.

My mother and her husband are both retired and on fixed-incomes. Their home is not outfitted for a wheelchair and is certainly not easy to navigate for someone who is paralyzed. They bought a bed and have converted a small den area into a bedroom,  that can accommodate my brother and a borrowed-manual wheelchair.

They have taken on the financial burden themselves of taking care of my brother's daily needs, including as many feasible adjustments to their home as possible.

Due to the nature of his injury and limitations, and the dirt/gravel property of my mom's place, he is in need of a power-chair ($4k-6k) and tools to help get him in/out the car, in/out of the shower, etc ($1k-2k). All of which will require out-of-pocket expenses on top of any public benefit Richard may be eligible for...eventually. In addition, he needs ongoing, acute physical & occupational therapy/rehab that can range $65-120/hour, of which he has no approval for. 

His road to recovery, in many different ways, is just getting started and the more time that passes the more difficult his recovery will be. The financial support will help Richard and my family navigate this journey.

In addition, we welcome any input or advice you can offer, from experience or familiarity, in regards to adjusting to a spinal cord injury.

Thank you!

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Sean Baumstark 
Sacramento, CA
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