Empty Stocking: Golden years not so golden for couple plagued by health problems


By Merri Hanjora - mhanjora@limanews.com



The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy. See past stories at LimaOhio.com/tag/emptystocking.

LIMA — Life has not been easy on Tracy, 65, and her husband, Tyler, 76. What should be the golden years of their lives has turned into medical, rental and health problems.

Tyler retired in 2007 and does not have a pension, relying on Social Security. Tracy is on disability.

Tyler has bad knees and gets around using a cane, walker or even a wheelchair at times. He suffers from glaucoma as well.

Tracy’s health is not much better. She has a colon disease that runs in the family. This disease claimed her mother at the age of 41, their daughter at the age of 32 and their granddaughter at the age of 16. In addition she suffers from Raynaud’s syndrome, a circulation problem where her fingers and toes are numb and feel extremely cold. She also has back problems, which is why she is on disability.

The couple rent their dwelling, having rented for seven years.

The house is cold, and the couple sit in their two recliners covered with blankets. There is a big picture window that needs replaced. The insulation is slim to none in the dwelling.

“This is what we use during winter, blankets to warm up. I bought flannel sheets at Sears. When I have them on, I don’t want to crawl out because it’s so cold. I sit here some nights and have gloves on my hands. We use our little kerosene heater here, Mr. Buddy, but trying to afford those propane bottles isn’t cheap. We run it in the evening. It will run five hours on low, so about eight or nine o’clock we turn it on, because we stay up late. We keep warm that way,” said Tracy.

The outside of the house is in need of repairs as well. The back “steps” are pallets that are rotted through. Tyler has fallen twice using the back door. He has fallen at the front steps as well, saying there needs to be a handrail put up in the front.

They tried moving two years ago to a smaller apartment and sold most of their furniture at that time. That move fell through.

With Christmas coming, the couple has no money for gifts for their daughter, son-in-law or grandchildren, a boy age 21 and a granddaughter age 17, let alone for the needed repairs to their dwelling.

Tracy would love to have a couch or a love seat.

“When people come to visit, they have to sit on a card table chair or on the floor,” said Tracy.

Tyler would love a small deep freezer so they could stock it with meat.

The couple sold their gas grill when they thought they were moving, and Tyler would like another gas grill.

Of utmost importance to them is replacing the front window, having proper back steps and getting a handrail out front so that Tyler doesn’t fall again.

“Every year when we sign our lease I have to call and tell her don’t raise the rent, we’re on a fixed income. She told us that anything she has to fix up, she’s going to raise the rent,” said Tracy.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/11/web1_empty-stocking.jpg

By Merri Hanjora

mhanjora@limanews.com

The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy. See past stories at LimaOhio.com/tag/emptystocking.

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.

Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.

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