August 19, 2004

Sad Story

My friend's mother told me the sad story of a 480 pound Florida woman who was found by rescue workers attached to her couch. She had been couch ridden for so long that her skin became grafted to the upholstery.

In the article I read yesterday (which I haven't been able to relocate), the woman was scared to leave her house for years after an incident where she fell down, hurt her knee and needed assistance getting back up. She was scared to fall down again in public, scared to suffer in front of others. Before she fell down, she was known to the community as a big, happy woman who volunteered and did things for her neighbors. Everyone knew who she was.

In another article, her 54 year old friend Herman was quoted as saying he took care of her the best way he could and repeatedly told her to get up. He must have missed the other ways he could have helped her, like by cleaning her up or cleaning her apartment. The walls and floors of her aparment were reported to have been matted with feces and trash was strewn across the floor.

I don't think it gets any sadder than this. She was so isolated, so cut off, that this woman died what can only be described as the most humiliating of deaths.

Her name was Gayle Laverne Grinds and I pray she rests in peace.

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