Damon was medically retired from the Huntington WV Police Department after being thrown from a fifteen-foot elevated enclosure during a scuffle between two criminal suspects. The fall added to past trauma injuries to his spine and despite completing physical rehab, he was deemed unable to perform the duties as a police officer. Upon retirement, Damon would continue to volunteer his time and effort as a member of his local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, as well as with the bordering community of Ross Township, Ohio.
He moved his wife, along with his son and daughter-in-law, both of whom have Down Syndrome, to sunny Florida to be closer to his brother (a PBSO deputy) and family. The pain in his back became a constant reminder of his fateful encounter that ended his career. Damon would require the use of a walker but was able to drive and have a somewhat normal retirement life. It was during this time Damon joined the Palm Beach County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #50 as an active member. Despite his limitations, Damon offered to serve as an Assistant Chaplain and would often make phone calls to check on the welfare of retired members. He was always willing to assist wherever the needs of the organization required. He returned to work in the West Palm Beach area as a CPR and First Aid instructor.
Damon would suffer another blow after undergoing additional back surgery to fuse several vertebrae. The surgery left Damon incapable of returning to a normal life; unable to work and unable to contribute at home. His wife now juggles from her early morning job as an airline ticket and ramp agent at Palm Beach International Airport, along with caring for Damon and the children later in the day when she returns home.
Damon’s mobility is now limited to a wheelchair and requires the use of public paratransit for doctor’s visits if his wife is at work. This is not often an easy task for him. A thirty-minute doctor’s visit to Boynton Beach by public transit can result in a 5 hour round trip from West Palm Beach, thus leaving his children alone while he is away. He is also limited to the number of packages he can carry when utilizing public transit in addition to having to adhere to the route schedule. This prevents him from grocery shopping as well as transporting instructional aids necessary to teach life safety skills. He would cherish the freedom to be able to drive once more using a van equipped with wheelchair access and hand controls. Some organizations offer low interest loans but even if qualified, this would create an additional challenge to Damon’s family budget. Insurance will not cover the expense as well.
Damon desires to work, to alleviate the added demands placed on his devoted wife and to be capable of resuming a life of productivity and purpose, both as husband and father. Your financial contribution will help us to successfully achieve our mission of purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle for Damon so that he can maintain independence and accessibility to all that life has to offer.