David Gregory has a condition that causes him to need a van equipped with a chair lift so he can access it from the driver’s seat of his vehicle. The van he currently uses is in poor shape, so he is in need of a new van. Friends have opened a bank account to help him get the equipment he needs.
HOMOSASSA — David Gregory knows that life is precarious.
Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, brittle bone disease, he’s had more than 80 broken bones in his 61 years, has spent weeks in traction and has undergone surgeries to have steel rods implanted in his legs.
In 2004, Gregory had heart bypass and aortic valve replacement surgery — serious enough for someone with normal bones, but for him, the risks were multiplied.
But he recovered and returned to work at the county property appraiser’s office in Crystal River 10 weeks later.
“With this disease, it’s bad when you’re young,” Gregory said. “In middle age you get better — your bones harden. Then when you get older, you go downhill again.”
When he was younger, in his 30s, he worked as a garage mechanic. He lifted machinery; he dug ditches. Throughout his adult years he has operated boats at the Marine Science Station, managed a Wilson’s Leather store and worked as a substitute teacher.
He could walk.
“I walked with a limp, but I was normal — in my opinion,” he said.
When he could no longer walk, he began using a motorized scooter. To get it onto the rack on the back of his car he would prop himself against the car and “drive” the scooter onto the rack using his hands, secure the gate behind it, then slowly make his way into the car.
When he got to work, he would reverse the process and do it again to go home.
He’s never been one to give up.
Five years ago, he got a van, a 1993 Ford E-150, with a lift. Even then it was old, but it lifted his chair, which lifted his spirits.
But now, the van keeps breaking down and the lift broke. A friend loaned him a lift that hooks on the back, which means he has to walk from the back to get into the driver’s seat, and he can’t walk well anymore.
“I call it my ‘McGuyver van,’” Gregory said. “I keep a roll of duct tape, nylon string and a tool kit handy.”
The list of what’s wrong with it is longer than what works.
His friends have opened up an account for him at TD Bank, 1000 S.E. U.S. 19, Crystal River, to help him purchase a wheelchair-accessible van.
He found a van with a lift and a chair included on Craigslist for $3,000, although he said he hasn’t looked at it yet or even knows if it’s still available. The owner lives in Sanford.
“For the past five years I’ve lived on a contingency basis, fixing things as they break,” he said. “Even my chair. I’d think, ‘Which one will go first?’ I was able to get a chair at the Sheriff’s store for $200 the day before my other chair gave out.”
Gregory said he tries to stay hopeful and positive, but is struggling to do so. He’s not one to complain, and said he knows other people have it much worse than he does.
“He tries so hard,” said his supervisor, Sandy Garrison. “He’s always here, he’s a hard worker. He’s a thinker and so intelligent. It’s a shame, though. He just can’t seem to catch a break.”
For information, call David Gregory at (352) 228-3230.
Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy can be reached at (352) 564-2927 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the blog post below on the latest from Governor Rick Scott.
Call health care benefits and patient protections from millions. today at and demand he tell the truth about his reckless and morally repugnant plan to take away cost-saving
By Ethan Rome Executive Director, America Nowfor
February 11, 2011
Rick Scott made his fortune in health care by exploiting patients and the federal government as CEO of the world’s largest health care company
. As governor of Florida, he’s now taking away cost-saving health care benefits and patient protections from millions. But this time he’s an elected official who swore to uphold the law.
Since an extremist federal judge issued a partisan (and poorly reasoned
) opinion finding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional, Scott has been pretending the law doesn’t apply to his state. Apparently Scott doesn’t care that the judge is only one of four U.S. district judges who have ruled on the constitutionality of the law and that two of them have upheld it. It doesn’t seem to matter to Scott that the ACA is the law of the land.
Whether it’s a political stunt or the act of an extremist ideologue, Scott is hurting real Floridians
in concrete ways, including millions of people with private health insurance or Medicare benefits. He’s taking away a law that ends the worst insurance company abuses and frees families, seniors and businesses from crushing health care costs and devastating denials of care.
Scott’s brazen disregard for the law is no surprise. He’s the former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp and was forced to resign in 1997
. That happens to be when the company pleaded guilty to a litany of criminal and civil charges, including lying to the government about how sick patients were so the company could collect bigger fees from the taxpayers. As a result, Columbia/HCA agreed to pay $1.7 billion in fines and penalties — the largest in U.S. history.
Scott’s refusal now to put the consequences into effect in has serious
. He says it’s about the people of Florida, but his action is really about giving control of our health care back to the insurance companies.
Scott should tell his constituents the truth about what he’s doing — taking away dozens of cost savings and consumer protections from Florida consumers. He should tell people that he wants to return to the days when insurance companies could deny your care because you have apreexisting condition, drop you for getting sick and jack up your rates whenever they wanted.
Scott should tell prescription drugs — and tell them he’s ending the 50% discount they get on brand-name medicines. Scott should call the parents of sick children who finally got coverage because of the ACA and tell them he’s canceling their insurance. He should also tell small businesses he’s taking away their job-creating tax credits. with devastating medical costs that he wants to reinstate annual and lifetime benefit limits that will force them into bankruptcy instead of providing the care they need. While he’s at it the governor can let young adults know they have to quit their parents’ health plans. He should go door to door and tell thousands of seniors to cough up the $250 donut-hole checks the ACA provided them to buy
Since Scott is independently wealthy, why doesn’t he take out ads in all of Florida’s local newspapers telling families, seniors, college students and small businesses to start worrying about their health care again? He could also confess that as a rich man he has no idea what it means to be pushed around by or overwhelmed by spiraling costs.
Rick Scott’s decision to buck the law is reckless, wrong and morally repugnant. Scott’s not alone. Extremists in some states, such as Iowa
, Utahand Wyoming, are following his lead, but thankfully a majority of states are appropriately moving forward with implementation–even states likeGeorgia, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, which are part of the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
It’s OK to challenge a federal law. It’s not OK to unilaterally refuse to follow it. What Rick Scott is doing is unconscionable.
The wrongs done to this Nation during the last eight years are so horrific that they match the other horendeous crimes of history. But these criminals have not paid, they must pay. Wake up America
Portability first becomes available for homeowners who had a 2007 homestead exemption on their old home and established a new homestead by January 1, 2008. You don’t have a whole lot of time to get the portability aspect of the new legislation that was passed Jan. 29, 2008. So I have put the form on my site to aid you, , just click on the form, DR501T and follow it’s instructions. If you like a little MORE info on transferring you SOH homestead CLICK HERE