This story is about a family in Rankin County who is now one more step back toward independence after a devastating ordeal. And the new thing they have that is helping, is something you and I probably take for granted.
Kenneth Shearer is examining his new shower at his home on Highway 18 near Puckett. He was able to use it the night before for the first time. And although it may be just a shower for you or me, it is a giant step forward for Kenneth and his wife Michelle.
"It all started from him just having hearing loss," said Michelle. "And we just really thought he needed hearing aids. and they discovered a soft-ball size brain tumor. So that started an eight-week long ICU."
Which led to rehab and the advice to find a nursing home for Kenneth because the opinion was Michelle would never be able to take care of him at home.
Then people started pitching in and helping. Their church raised the money for a special van. Other folks installed a ramp, and the LIFE organization was contacted to help with a shower for Kenneth.
It's an acronym for living independence for everyone," said Roger Bullock, an independent living specialist with LIFE. "And what it is we're supposed to try to do for people is to assure their independence in the community without being institutionalized."
"What was here was a garden tub. Which he couldn't get in. If he got in, he couldn't get out," said Charles Holmes.
Charles Holmes is with Mississippi Benevolence, a group that works with churches in Rankin County. They joined in. Mississippi Benevolence and LIFE teamed up on this project. They often partner together to help people get their lives back.
"And so we've come so far and this is just another step," said Michelle. "And something that we would have never been able to do on our own."
As for Kenneth? He says driving is next. But that's yet a ways down the road. Driving and taking a shower, you never think about things like that.
And that's the goal of organizations like Mississippi Benevolence and LIFE, to make the simple things of life simple again for people who's circumstances have put them way out of reach, and in helping with the little things, they are Making A big Difference in lives.
Copyright 2014 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201