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I was born and raised on the coast of North Carolina, and for the first 30 years of my life I was a beach boy, and I loved it. My life changed dramatically when I was twenty years-old, on October 16, 1980 at 9:10 a.m. I was involved in an automobile accident and basically lost my calf in the wreck. I was in a Corvette and an 18-wheeler ran a stoplight going 62 miles an hour and t-boned me. I mean, I don’t know if you can imagine what it’s like, but you’re right there in a car and you look out of the corner of your eye and from about here to the wall you see M – A – C – K and a big black bumper coming at you. When it hit, it smashed the car in half and the door actually folded over on my left leg. After it hit me, it pushed me 102 yards – farther than the length of a football field.
I stayed in surgery for 13 hours. I was in the hospital about three months. My hospital bills were well over $100,000, and the truck driver carried the minimum amount of insurance. So, there was no money for pain and suffering, for future medical bills, for anything. I slowly began to heal, but my leg would swell up drastically. I went back to work for 15 years with it like that, which unknowingly made my leg worse. After that, going back to the beach was never the same.
My mom developed breast cancer. She fought it for six years, but finally succumbed to it. Shortly after, we discovered my Dad had inoperable cancer. Talk about a lonely feeling. With nothing left for me on the coast, I moved to Charlotte where I knew there were good medical facilities. I went to the men’s shelter for thirty days to get on my feet when my disability kicked in. I continued having surgeries to cut away dead and infected tissue (on my leg) until I developed a staph infection and they had to remove my leg.
I moved into McCreesh Place. This has been a blessing for me. I love helping out here. I am the secretary of the resident’s association, I volunteer at the front desk, just anything I can to help out. If McCreesh Place hadn’t been here I don’t know what I would have done. The staff has done so much for me, they do so much for everyone....this is your home. Right now I just need support, and the people here are great. I’m just thankful to be alive everyday after what I’ve been through. So, I know God’s got something for me, I just have to figure out what it is and just be patient about it.