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Group Raising Money to Buy Van for Paralyzed Charlottesville Man - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Group Raising Money to Buy Van for Paralyzed Charlottesville Man

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A group in Charlottesville is helping a man who became paralyzed after more than 50 years of life on two feet. They're preparing and selling home-cooked meals to help his family to buy a special needs van to make the transition a little easier.

For most people, it is hard to imagine what you would do if you woke up one day and couldn't feel your legs anymore. It's a reality one Charlottesville man is learning to live with one day at a time.

"I had my legs all my life. Track, running, football, baseball, dancing and all of a sudden, they're gone. Just by a blink of an eye,"said Larry Jackson, who is paralyzed from the waist down.

On July 29, 2011, 59-year-old Larry Jackson's life changed forever.

"I laid down and went to sleep and that morning, the doctor come around and make his rounds. He come in there all smiles and everything, 'How you doing Mr. Jackson?  Ready to go home?' and I told him I couldn't walk. I couldn't move my legs," he said.

Doctors told Jackson a blood clot caused a spontaneous epidural hematoma.  It paralyzed him from the waist down - essentially confining Jackson to the bottom floor of his home.

"Four walls, wishing and hoping where am I going to get this at, where am I going to get that at?" he said.

Jackson only leaves the house for medical appointments and uses a JAUNT bus to get to them.  The Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) built a ramp at the house to help him get to bus.

Angie Jackson - Larry's wife of 27 years - has been right by his side the entire time.

"It was sudden and you know with that I had to learn a lot because I'm not putting him in a nursing home. As long as God gives me breath to do what I have to do, I'm going to take care of him. Some days it's hard but I keep going," she said.

A chance encounter connected the Jacksons with Ms. Wheelchair Virginia first runner-up India Sims. Sims and family members are now making meals to raise money to buy a van to accommodate Jackson's needs.

"I know how it feels to be stuck and it's very important for somebody, anybody to at least get out and see the light, not stuck inside of a home," Sims said.

Jackson says he will keep praying for help to give him a little more freedom.

"First I would go out and see people, visit my parents, my mom, and see some of my friends and then check options, things I might could do," he said. 

Jackson believes his faith will help him move forward.

"I guess if I didnt, if I didn't talk to God and believe in Him, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be the next day, but I think one day it could have to be in heaven.  They'll come back, my legs will."

Jackson's family is trying to raise $3,000 over the next two months to buy the van. They've already collected more than $550.  If you are interested in helping, contact India Sims at (540) 442-0698.

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