From One Survivor to Another

Usually, after a much-publicized tragedy many warm-hearted people offer help to the family, but a year later, they’ve gone on to other things.

Not this time.

When John Arnold heard about the attack on the 18-year-old girl outside the Bloomingdale Branch Library April 24, 2008, his heart went out to her. At the time, John was still slowly recuperating from a painful disease that had caused doctors to tell him he would never walk again.

The day he told me of his efforts to help this girl he had never met, he was able to walk to his door and open it with only the help of a cane. Just a few months before, he had graduated from using a walker, and before that, a wheelchair.

Now the wheelchair sits in the corner of his sunroom and he walks slowly, and with care.

“My wife had Sam Cook’s (construction team) take out all the carpet and put in this laminate flooring, widen the doorways and make arrangements in the bathroom all in seven days,” he said. “When she heard they were sending me home from the rehab center, they said I’d never walk again. She made the earth move to accommodate a wheelchair. I’ll never know how she accomplished everything so fast.”

Jo hn and his wife Shirley moved to Sun City Center in 2002 after their son was transferred to Tampa. “We came down for the Christening (of a grandchild) and then coincidentally, after we got back up North,


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