Category Archives: osteogenesis imperfecta

Help me out on this contest, please…

Rebekah Lloyd love for her father inspired this
entry. Even though she has to bend down to kiss her dad, Rebekah Lloyd said that in her eyes, he’s 8 feet tall. After an especially difficult two years for her father, David Gregory, the former Miss Teen Citrus and Miss Citrus wants to take this Father’s Day to honor the man she calls Daddy. “My dad is such an inspiration to me,” she said from her dad’s house in Homosassa. David came down to Florida from Vermont, with a B.A. in Sociology, in 1977 and adopted Rebekah and her two brothers, Zachary and James, when he met and married their mother. Rebekah was just a baby, and David is the only father she has ever known.

“It doesn’t take DNA to make a dad,” she said.

He was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a brittle bone disease. He’s in an
electric wheelchair now, but he doesn’t let that stop him,” she said. “He has had over 100 broken bones and had to have steel rods put in his legs when he was a teenager; he has pain, and it hasn’t been easy for him. What’s most amazing is that the bone thing isn’t even an issue with him — he even walked me down the aisle at my wedding in 2004.”

Except for the joy of an only daughter’s wedding, 2004 was an especially
difficult year for David. A week after the wedding, his mother died, and then four months after that, his brother-in-law, who was his best friend, also died. Then his wife was diagnosed with heart disease and had two stints put in her heart.

Meanwhile, he was still walking, but started using a motorized scooter. However, he didn’t have a wheelchair-accessible van with a drive-up ramp like he has now.
So, to transfer the scooter onto the rack on the back of his car, he had to prop
himself against the car and “drive” the scooter using his hands onto the rack,
secure the gate behind it, then slowly make his way into the car. When he got to
work, he had to reverse the process, and then do it again when he got home.

Currently, Gregory works at the Property Appraiser’s office in Crystal River.
Prior to that he had various jobs: he operated Liberty Stagecoach delivery
service, managed a Wilson’s Leather store in a mall in New Port Richey, operated
boats at the Marine Science Center, worked at a bank, taught school as a substitute
and was a garage mechanic.

Also in 2004, Gregory developed chest pains and discovered that he needed heart
bypass and valve replacement surgery, which is serious enough for someone with
normal bones. For him, the risks were multiplied.

On the morning of his surgery, Gregory’s children, his wife and her family and
his dad all came to the hospital. “We all kissed him as he went into surgery; it
was that risky,” Lloyd said.

He recovered and returned to work 10 weeks later and is still there today, going to work every day in his electric wheelchair.

Please click on the pictures below to rate his story.

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