Reader hopes for assistance for brother injured in wreck

My brother, Billy Ray Edwards, 51, was in an auto accident on June 6, 2006. He was airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital. He had severe injuries to his heart, lungs and kidneys. He also had a broken pelvis, seven broken ribs and his left arm and elbow was broken. His condition was very grave. He has had open-heart surgery and was on kidney dialysis. After about 30 days, he was able to have surgery on his arm and elbow.

The middle of July he was transferred to the rehab hospital in New Albany. He was then released at the end of July.

He and his wife are staying with my mother so they are close to the rehab hospital. He is getting physical therapy at home for six weeks then will go three times a week to the rehab hospital for therapy.

His doctors have told him it will be a year to a half before he will be able to work. His wife, Teresa, has been forced to go back to work for financial reasons. This is a real hardship because she is his caregiver. Our mother is 83-years-old and unable to care for Billy. Billy’s family is doing all we are able to help out.

Billy has applied for Social Security disability but was told he probably won’t get it. His only source of income is 26 weeks of disability from his job. He receives $150 a week. This barely covers his medication.

Billy is 51-years-old and has worked since he was a young man. He’s paid Social Security, and state and federal taxes. I know of people who are not American citizens who are getting aid from state and federal agencies. I don’t begrudge anyone getting help that needs it. However, my brother needs assistance so much and for him not to get it is just plain wrong.

Pat Rhodes, my sister, has talked to Sam Wamsley in Congressman Mike Sodrel’s office. Sam Wamsley has assured my sister that office will be an advocate for Billy in trying to get him some assistance.

His recovery so far has been a miracle from God. Mike Sodrel or anyone able to help get my brother some assistance has our heartfelt thanks.

— Janet Petty, Champaign, Ill.

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