On Tuesday April 9, 2013, Marian Latimer, age 58, soon to be 59, and permanently disabled underwent her 4th cervical spine surgery, a very risky one, in Charlotte. A fusion was removed and it was stuck to her spinal cord and dura by scar tissue. A long time spinal fluid leak was found and sealed off. A cyst, previous unknown, similar to what removed Dorothy Hamill from "Dancing With The Stars," was discovered and removed. The object of the surgery, a bone fragment stuck to the cord, was then drilled off and a new fusion was put back into place. She was placed into a cervical collar and kept in the hospital for two days. All symptoms were relieved, no numbness in her hands and arms, no more vertigo, or positional headaches, caused by CSF leaks. The surgery was a surprising success. She was able to get herself out of bed and take a shower and walk around her room. She was released Thursday. Her only therapy was to walk with a cane.
For the past 4 years, she has been living with a dear friend who shall go unnamed. This friend has cancer and is terminal but has some time to go. They recently bought a car in both their names. They have been close for ten years, give or take. Marian drove her everywhere almost. She bought the groceries, paid a very high Windstream bill, and paid the car payment and made sure her friend got all the access to services that she needed like Medicaid and so on. She paid much of the gas for the car and took her friend to dinner at times. They shared many interests and did not get in each other's way in the house. Each had her own space.
Her friend had a visitor come from up north and this friend began demeaning Marian to her dear friend. They did not stay for the surgery but brought her things the next day. They did not pick her up and told her she had to stay in the hospital until she could take care of herself. They told her they were cleaning out her room but she could sleep in a spare room. The hospital sent her home by transport. When she got there, she went in and was told she could not stay. Another woman who had harassed her before by text called the police and said to come and get her. Within minutes, the police were there and removed her from the home. She only had what she had come from the hospital with and after she asked, some of the medications she had in her bathroom. The police were instructed to take her to a shelter 20 miles away. She would not allow this but asked to be taken to the local mission. The mission put her in a hotel for the night but the back and forth and duress of this took a toll on her and she ended up going to the hospital by ambulance for severe vertigo. The ER refused to call her surgeon. This is a symptom of a tear in the dura. She was kept lying in the room for hours and nothing done short of a possible psych admit.
She had left her ATM card and $80 cash with her friends for safekeeping. She got back $11 and less than $60 in her checking account. Her next pay is May 3. She had no way to get to food or her refills. There are meds in a closet she needs for a study. She has 2 changes of clothes. Someone picked her up at the hospital and she is now out of county where there is no branch of her pharmacy. She has insufficient funds to pay for refills.
She has been trying to find low income housing because she has been told she cannot return home. There are long waiting lists.
Mooresville Police were called by someone and asked if a person could just be removed without notice under any circumstances. They were told no. Civil court had to be gone through or at least some sort of due process and notice had to be given. No less than four lawyers have said that this is battery and non-aggravated assault. It is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and it is Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult under North Carolina law. Marian called various town officials over the weekend and the mayor and one of the commissioners admitted that the police had acted wrongly. The commissioner promised to find her housing and even furniture. It is now well into the next week and no one has called her back. They had said the town would be meeting on it. NOTHING.
On what planet is it ever all right for an officer of the law to show up and take a woman fresh from life-threatening surgery, where paralysis was a real risk, and remove her and leave her in the street with no place to go? And in what universe is this humane? What were the Mooresville Police thinking?
Marian faces months of recovery. She is in pain that she should not be in and under stress that she should not be. She wanted to go home but now she just wants to be in her own place and she wants to rest and recover. Mooresville needs to be held accountable. She needs a recliner and a bed. So that she can keep the car and not have to worry we will be setting up a fundraiser on a separate site to help her pay it off so payments will not be a factor in further expenses.
Send a message to Mooresville, NC. Tell them this will not stand. You do not get to abuse disabled and you do not get to break the law you are paid to enforce. Make this a message that goes around the world and remember, it could be someone you know. No one likes a bully. No one deserves this.
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