LIMA — A single father of two who may soon undergo his sixth major surgery needs help keeping his young children clothed and diapered while he’s out of work.
With four weeks until Christmas, John, not his real name, is out of work while he waits for the doctor’s order for what could be his second back surgery in 20 years.
It all started when John was 19.
John shattered his foot during an accident at work, an accident that has since required four reconstructive foot surgeries and which John believes ultimately led to a back injury that required yet another major surgery. There was a neck surgery too, all before he turned 40.
Now in his late 30s, John can’t sit or stand for long periods of time because the nerve pain is so severe. His spine is coming out of line above the metal screws and rods that were inserted in his back years ago, John said, and that is now inching down on his nerves.
The pain is so severe, John said, that he can hardly walk.
He’s out of work until the surgery, as he completes physical therapy and a series of X-rays, cat-scans, MRIs and therapy injections that will determine whether he’s a candidate for surgery at all.
“It’s rough because I’m not supposed to be lifting anything,” John said. “But being a dad, diapers have to be changed. Baths have to be given. And when I’m here by myself, it falls on me because they have to have that stuff.”
The only thing John wants for Christmas is clothes for his two children, a 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, who need sweaters, pants, shirts, socks, shoes, diapers and undergarments as well as laundry detergent and other toiletries to stay clean while their father is out of work.
His daughter wears 24-month clothing, size 5 baby shoes and size 5 diapers. His son wears 7T clothing and size 15 toddler shoes.
The kids aren’t picky, John said, as they already have plenty of toys and are often more amused by the boxes their toys come in than they are in the toys themselves.
His daughter likes Minnie Mouse, while his son likes Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol and tools, anything he can use to fix his younger sister’s toys.
“They’re excited about anything,” John said.