An older man pushes his wheelchair down the wheelchair ramp at his door.

“Back Into The Community” Harry Russell Regains Independence

Harry Russell has been working his entire adult life. Then at 60, he had a stroke.

Harry says, “My left hand went numb; I felt off.”

He’d been working as a cook at Jack’s Place in Flushing when the owner noticed Harry looked slightly different.

Harry says, “He said nothing is good about it; you need to go to the hospital.”

After an emergency stay at Hurley Medical Center, Harry was eventually released to a Montrose nursing care facility, Medi-lodge.

According to Harry, “It was scary facing a lot of strangers, but they cared for me and didn’t judge me. I just went through a catastrophe, and now I’m trying to piece everything together”.

After 15 months at Medi-Lodge, Harry wanted to move on with his life.

Harry says, “I want out; Medicaid would help if I’m out.”

His social worker contacted Caley Iverson at the Disability Network to help.

He was also assisted by Sarah Cheek, NFT Lead, from TDN.

Caley says,” Our NFT department is a Medicaid-based program where people come from a nursing home or hospital; we get them housing and ramps.”

Harry needed just about everything.

Caley said,” He needed accessible housing, a ramp, household items, groceries, furniture, pretty much everything. He was starting over”.

Harry is settled into a Flint apartment and now faces a lot of physical therapy. He hopes to walk again soon and get his old job back at Jack’s Place.

Caley adds, “He’s so excited to return to the community.”

Harry says, “If it wasn’t for the Disability Network, I don’t know where I’d be.” 

If you know someone in a nursing care facility who wants to move on to a more independent life, please get in touch with The Disability Network at 810-742-1800.