Life Can Instantly Change

Daniel (left) and Ricky wait in line to get food from Jonah’s Java in Greenville, MO.

Life can change in an instant. One day you’re healthy, then the next you’re partially paralyzed.

Daniel, from Wayne County, was a jack-of-all-trades working as a carpenter, electrician and a mechanic. Around seven months ago, all of that changed when he suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body.

“I can’t even defend myself now,” Daniel said with disgust.

With support from a brace he can walk to a certain degree, but he still struggles. Daniel can’t do things like play with his grandchildren like he used to, which has led to depression.

“It’s the simple things that messes me up,” Daniel said, his voice cracking and eyes filling with tears.

Before the stroke, he didn’t have a hard time providing for his family of four. Now, he relies on food distributions to supplement his families’ groceries. Even with his disability check and his wife’s paycheck, it’s just enough to get by after paying all of their bills.

“If these food distributions didn’t exist, I’d probably have to rely on friends and family for help,” Daniel said.

Daniel’s friend Ricky, whom he considers a “grandfather he never had,” drove him to food distribution in Greenville. Ricky lives on Daniel’s property and was also picking up food for himself.

Ricky and Daniel have been friends for some time. Ricky, who is also disabled, was struggling, living elsewhere with little resources before Daniel invited him to live on his property. Now Ricky has common utilities like electricity and water that he didn’t before.

“I told Ricky: ‘You’re 58 years old and disabled, you shouldn’t have to deal without those things,’ and invited him to live on my property with those utilities,” Daniel said. “I love him to death.”

Although Ricky now has it better than he did, he still struggles on what little income he receives from disability.

“By the time I pay my doctor bills – and I pay all my bills first – what I have left over is what I buy groceries with, which isn’t much,” Ricky said.

Even Ricky’s doctor noticed he was losing weight because he wasn’t getting enough to eat.

“I was losing a lot of weight, and my doctor asked why, and I told him because I couldn’t afford groceries so my nurse started bringing me food each month,” Ricky said.

Both Daniel and Ricky are very thankful for food distributions from Southeast Missouri Food Bank and its partners.

“Thank you all every much,” Daniel said. “God bless them.”

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