It was a chilly January day when we sat with and got to know a little bit about Bernice and her family. Bernice has lived in Edwardsville her whole life and has four children. When one of her sons was 22 years old he was in a horrific car accident and was left with a severe brain injury. Bernice became very involved in a Head Injury Association of St. Louis and kept her son involved in lots of camps with other disabled peers. He met a “girlfriend” who is also physically disabled. They now reside together in Edwardsville with an Aide who assists them.
Shortly after the car accident, Bernice’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and she took care of him for 20 years, until he passed away.
In 2013 Bernice had a staph infection resulting from knee replacement surgeries which ended in another surgery and she now walks with a cane.
Bernice drives a 2001 Dodge Caravan that is adapted to be wheel chair accessible, so she can take her son and his companion to doctor appointments and to just get them out of the house. The automatic wheelchair ramp was broken, and the van needed a new engine. ENIN worked with a local mechanic, who graciously donated labor costs, and we were able to repair the van as well as provide gas cards and coats for the whole family.