Robert Porter sleeps on a broken hospital bed donated from Goodwill and rides in his wife’s broken wheelchair. The bed won’t properly adjust, so his back is up and his legs won’t go down. The motorized wheelchair allows him to start a trip to the store, but the motor often stops on him and he has to wait, sometimes an hour, before it starts again.
The 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran served from 1980-1984; he also served nine years in the Army Reserve. He asked the U.S. Veterans Administration for a new bed and wheelchair in May but has yet to get them.
He’s also asked the VA to provide a hospital bed for his wife, Wanda, who’s bedridden after a stroke in 2003. She must sleep partially sitting up because the bed she has won’t lay flat.
Not surprisingly, Porter also suffers from depression.
Instead of going to a nursing home, he wants to remain in his own house so he can care for his wife. And he also wants to visit an adult day care facility a few days a week where he can spend time interacting with other veterans.
He’s on a new electronic waiting list for the bed, the wheelchair and the day care but hasn’t heard back from the VA.