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West Side frostbite victim faces long road to recovery

Published: Thu, January 30, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By joe gorman



The most urgent thing facing a man hospitalized for frostbite, contracted from living for several days in a West Side home without heat, is how to make arrangements to provide long-term care for him.

Cynthia Carter, a social worker for the police department’s Family Services Investigative Unit, said the 51-year-old man has no insurance and no Medicaid, either and that arrangements need to be made quickly for him to be able to stay at a nursing home after he is released from the hospital.

The man is being treated at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center where he went Sunday to be treated for frostbite, which reports described as so bad that his clothes and boots were fused to his skin.

“His legs are in really bad shape,” Carter said. “He cannot walk at all.”

Carter said the man needs to have the red tape cut for his Medicaid application so that he can get care as soon as possible.

The man’s 58-year-old wife and 22-year-old daughter also were taken to the hospital to be checked for frostbite and both were released Wednesday, Carter said. She said they have been accepted at a local homeless shelter.

The family’s North Hazelwood Avenue home has been deemed uninhabitable by city housing officials because it has no heat or running water. Carter said they could not go back until they turn the water on, but that problem is made worse because the pipes in the home burst, and those would have to be fixed first, but the family has no money.

The home has not had water since Jan. 10. City officials are not sure who owns the house.

Carter said the family was in her office in November to fill out paperwork for heating assistance, but they never sent the forms in to receive the assistance. She said the home had no heat because there was no gas, not because of a faulty furnace.

Carter said the man will not be able to walk normally for a long time because of his condition from the frostbite.

“He needs long-term help,” Carter said. “That’s my main concern right now.”

She said the daughter had a slight case of frostbite but the mother was fine.

The case is one of the worst she has experienced, Carter said.

“I’ve seen a lot of people and a lot of bad things,” Carter said. “But this one is bad.”


1Attis(1134 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

No insurance; no Medicaid; no job; no money; no gas; no water; no heat; no house; soon no legs. Know him, know the Other America...

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2lovethiscity(169 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

There, but for the Grace of God, go we all.

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3southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This could happen to anyone, just terrible.

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4walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Wait a minute. There are plenty of programs, both governmental and private, that help families such as this that are truly needy. If they live on limited income, Medicare should be available. We have food banks. Utilities collect donations for assistance for such situations. What about HEAP? I would have to believe the story goes deeper. Maybe some mental illness or drug problem? Do these people have no other family members or friends that would help them?

Now, if the property is a rental unit, then the landlord has some explaining to do.

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5mouse(112 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

why jump the gun & start second guessing what the problem is? just wait & see what comes from the investigation of the situation & then you can start throwing stones or boulders in your case!

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6DACOUNTRYBOY(1225 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

The word of the day here is RED TAPE. These peoples are danced around and many just like them give up. ObamaCare will take another $1,500. for not having health insurance and give nothing in return. Have you received your Obama Email saying how good it is and soliciting a contribution?

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7Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Walter there has to be something more to the story.

Frostbite from being indoors seems very odd.

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8republicanRick(1731 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This sounds like mental illness. They should have and could have gotten help sooner.

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9stuckinytown(18 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

"The home has not had water since Jan. 10. City officials are not sure who owns the house." All city officials have to do is look up the owner in the Mahoning County Auditor's Office. Lazy.....no wonder nothing gets done in this city.

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