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Friday, June 5, 2009

Need your help for a good cause.........

I need a favor, but not for myself.

A young man I know named Devon Long was paralyzed in an ATV accident several years ago and is isolated to a bed in the Sweden Valley Manor here in Coudersport. His world is limited to the people who care for him, and those that visit.

I am hoping that with your help in passing the word we can assist him in obtaining the internet so he can reach out and explore the possibilities he has with the rest of his life.

He has many interests and wants to enroll in an on line college sometime in the future, without the internet he can not. Devon receives a small compensation each month, not enough though to afford all he needs along with internet service from Zitomedia. I have written to Zitomedia to ask if they would donate service to Devon with no response yet, I will continue to pursue them.

I can not afford to pay for the service myself or I would, I'm asking if others will donate any amount to go along with what I can afford and hopefully we can help Devon see that he is not forgotten and help him plan his future. Thank you so much to you and anyone out there who can help in this matter. Have a great day, and God Bless.


Ben Thompson
Coudersport Pa
814-274-4858

35 comments :

Anonymous said...

to bad John Regis is not here. These are the good things he did for the community. He helped people that were in need like this fellow. I know he would have given this man the internet.

Anonymous said...

Is there a way for us to make donations? A address or who to donate too?

Anonymous said...

Zito is still ran by Rigas family members.. You'd think they would want to help... I sure will

Anonymous said...

It seems to me like this should be brought up with the facility. Does the facility itself already have Internet access? You'd think they would be able to setup a wireless system and give the residents Internet access. Having Internet access is a basic necessity nowadays as far as services go. Is there some board at that facility that could be lobbied? The people pay to stay there; do they have any control or say in things that go on there?

Anonymous said...

As for paying for the actual classes.....

there are plenty of scholarships available for all sorts of things, including his situation. Once he gets the internet, urge him to complete some scholarships.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a bank account set up for this purpose where money can be sent directly to the bank?

Also, did you think of PC Human Services as they have various means of obtaining services - but can't tell you that this would be one of them.

Under the Disabilities Act (Federal Law) you may be able to find assistance.

Please advise bank name and address along with name to make the donation to.

Anonymous said...

doesn't he already have the internet ? he always did before

Anonymous said...

This is a very worthy cause and I'm sure zito will help you Ben! Good job! Put an address or better yet open an acct. with a local bank ;"care of you're friend" and post it! There may be someone with a good used laptop they would donate!?Like the other poster said;there is grants for on-line schooling availible! Good Luck!! Brad

Anonymous said...

Devons address is:

Devon Long
1028 East Second Street
Coudersport, Pa 16915

This is the address for the Sweden Valley Manor. The situation is that Devon receives less than $50 per month from disability which as we all know won't pay for much. He fell behind on his bill to Zitomedia and they simply turned it off. He does receive basic television from Zitomedia at no charge which I commend them for, but given the size of the company I would think that they could help with the internet as well given the circumstance. I've learned that I am not the first person to contact Zitomedia about helping Devon, but I did get the same response as the others, none!

I would like to thank Mr. Hess for his call this morning to help in this matter. When I told Devon that he would soon be able to have the internet again he couldn't believe that someone he didn't know was willing to help him, his spirits were lifted to a new level! Again thank you and your wife so much Mr. Hess, you have done a wonderful thing.

As was posted above there are grants and other funding available for people with disabilities which Devon will now be able to search for and obtain through the internet.

Ben Thompson

Anonymous said...

Where is this young mans family? Might be that they can assist? I don't beleive that Human Services is in any shape to pay for him to have internet...heck according to the paper they might not even be there if budget issues don't improve.

Anonymous said...

I know this is not important to some people, but I have Zito Media and I lost my service in the first half of the SUPER BOWL and they never compensated me one bit!!!If we could get Time Warner here in Coudersport, I would be the first one to sign up???

Anonymous said...

Ben this is a very nice thing for you to do. I just wondered how you know this young man? not that it matters but it just seems that you really care about him. and I remember hearing about this from what I remember the Mother had problems of her own. so sad that a young man should have to live in the manor cause he has no other place to go. seems a shame to me. I will help. just let me know where to send it and to who.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone who has responded. I'm not sure that posting someones bank account number is a good thing these days, but if you send your donation to him at the address I posted above with "internet" in the notes field, and possibly a message with some encouraging words both gestures will find their way to the appropriate place. If you would rather make a direct deposit please send Devon a note with your phone number and he will call you with the information, and a big "Thank You". A very kind man called me this morning to volunteer to pay for Devons internet moving forward, but the reason it was shut off in the first place was due to him being so far behind on his bill. His outstanding balance is unknown at this time, he will check on it Monday and let me know but he thinks it could be several hundred dollars. So although Mr. Hess' kindness will ensure he stays connected, any donations sent will be used to pay the outstanding balance.
He already has a laptop, but thanks to the person who commented about finding one.
I know Devon through my wifes family. My son AJ and I visit him each week to play guitar with him for an hour or two, he's a very good guitar player and has taught us a lot. I have to say that both visiting Devon and walking those halls to get to his room are a massive reminder of how lucky I am to be healthy and have a great family. If anyone has spare time the residents (many are veterans) would love to have someone visit them.
Thanks again to Mr. Hess and all of you who responded with kind words or suggestions, and to all who send donations. Your making a difference in Devons life and I know that all of the kind words of support are a light at the end of the tunnel for him.

Ben Thompson

Anonymous said...

Ihave just written to Michael Rigas and asked him to help this young man as a compassionate and humane gesture, by waiving the fees for internet. I hope it helps.
Shirlee Leete

Anonymous said...

Benn, this is such a kind thing for you to take on. I do not know Devon personally, although I do know his sister. I realize his immediate family has many personal problems and are not able to take care of Devon outside of the Manor. I wish I could take him. I take care of my husband who is wheelchair bound with many other health problems. I cannot imagine him living in a nursing home and it breaks my heart to know Devon has to live at SVM at such a young age. I am sure the caregivers at SVM take wonderful care of him, but it is just not like being at home. I will put Devon on our prayer chain at Church. Bless you Ben.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again to everyone for your kind words and prayers for Devon, and to you Shirly for your efforts with Mr. Rigas. If your able to acomplish your task please let us all know so we can give you a proper "THANK YOU!".
Wow, it's great to know that our small town spirit is still alive! I wish you all a glorious night, and a wonderful week.

Ben Thompson

Anonymous said...

what level is Devons spinal cord injury?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the level, if you could explain a little more I'll ask him tomorrow and post the reply. Thanks.

Ben

Anonymous said...

I just received an email back from Mike Rigas. He said this is the first he had heard about it and will look into it. If you call the zitomedia office you probably only talk to someone who deals with internet problems--that's why I contacted Mike directly. Keep your fingers crossed.
Shirlee Leete

Anonymous said...

I thought his grandparents were the Long's from Galeton. Can't they afford to help him out with this? What about his mother or father? I don't mean to sound negative, but has he asked them for help?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Where is his family? He is already getting free tv, how much more do you think he needs for free?! My grandmother is in Sweden Valley Manor....should she get free internet? It is not right to expect handouts....if you start with one, where do you stop?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shirlee, keep us posted on the good news! Thank you.

Ben

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make?
Engage in an act of kindness.
The reward is overwhelming ...

Anonymous said...

Devon Long
1028 East Second Street
Coudersport, Pa 16915

Devons injuries were that his spinal cord was crushed between T11 and T12, and the little spikes that stick out to the side on the vertibrae were broken off at L1 and L2. His spleen ruptured and was removed as well.
Mr Hess, Devon was to call you yesterday but he is nervous and not sure how to properly thank you for your kindness. He would love to meet anyone who wishes to donate or just visit.
Devon never asked for any of this help, I did this on his behalf. He is blown away that people he doesn't know or hasn't seen in years are willing to help.

Anonymous said...

When I asked about his level of injury I am just refering to where on the spinal column he is injuried. Where does he start losing feeling?

Anonymous said...

Amen 6/8 poster! Almost made it thru this post without any negative comments!! ;( Keep up the good work Ben! Brad Jones

Anonymous said...

I wish I lived closer, because there is no reason someone with Devon's level of injury and age should be living in a nursing home. There are many hospitals around that country that would probably take Devon in as charity and teach him the skills necessary to live on his own. With the disability money he should be receiving he should be able to live on his own once he learns the skills. There is no reason that Devon couldn't live on his own, drive a car, and be employeed. When Devon gets his internet back he should look at the following hospitals..Shepherd Center (Atlanta, GA), Craig Hospital in Colorado and Spalding in Mass. Lets get this kid out of the damn nursing home and back into the community where he belongs!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Brad, I was thinking the same thing... almost made it.

But to counter the negativity an awesomely generous lady has paid off Devons entire overdue bill with Zitomedia! I would mention her name but am not sure she would like that.

Devon will have the internet hooked up tomorrow and wants me to show him this post so he can add his many "thank you" comments to all who have contributed in his effort.

7:10 poster, he has no feeling from the waist down. The reason for being isolated to the bed is that bone fragments from the accident are still working their way through to the skin and giving him massive bed sores which become infected. I'm sure Devon will better describe his condition and such tomorrow when he logs on!!

Thanks again to everyone!

Ben Thompson

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Ben. I understand where you are coming from with the bone spurs, but I believe Devon could help prevent those "presure sores" by lifting his body with his arms or leaning over every 30 minutes or so ..People with feeling have no problem relieving the pressure to the butt, back etc. by moving around when it becomes uncomfortable. If you have a spinal cord injury you don't feel when it gets uncomfortable and don't move around to release the pressure. This is probably what is causing the major pressure sores. I have extensive knowledge about spinal cord injury and believe there is no reason he should be in a nursing home. The pressure sores will continue to get worse unless Devon is able to get the problem taken care of and learn how to prevent them and take care of himself.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the Sweden Valley Manor doesn't provide free wireless internet access to all of the residents. It wouldn't be hard to set up a wireless router. That way more of them could have better contact with those who love and care for them. Does anyone know if Mary Jones still the director of customer relations? God Bless you Ben Thompson for this wonderful gesture. I am sure that Devon is very grateful for your generosity. He is luck to have such a good friend.

Anonymous said...

Sorry this is going to sound negative~~BUT~~before you envest your hard earned cash, please go check out this situation for yourselves!! Don't just take someone else's word for it!! What you hear is not always the REAL STORY .

TAKE A VERY CLOSE LOOK AT IT FIRST!!

Julie Thompson said...

There really is no other way to take this last post other than "negative". Just what is your interpretation of the REAL STORY? If there is something that his family is missing, please share. Devon has good days and bad days where he feels hopeless and depressed. It would be hard to fight off these feelings behind the four walls that he sits in each and every day. There are times when he is so weak, sick and miserable that it shows in his demeanor. He has had a very rough life, even before the accident.

Devon is my nephew and I have seen the suffering first hand. What happened to him is something most of us will never to have to experience. There are no words to express how I feel about seeing him in this condition. We never know how much we take for granted until it is gone. I would encourage anyone to "take a very close look" and see for themselves what he is going through. I believe that more visitors would only have a positive effect on his current state of mind. He is 21 years old and hasn't walked for years. This could happen to anyone, anytime. I am not sure what your comment about what you hear is not always the REAL STORY, but the facts are the facts and Devon is a very smart young man who has lost his ambition and drive due to his condition.

We can only hope that this random act of kindness will lift his spirits and give him hope to gain the strength that he needs to get well.

I love you, Devon and you are always in my thoughts and prayers. ~ Aunt Julie

Anonymous said...

what good caring people we have in our community...and god bless you Ben...there are angels among us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you to the negative poster from above. I would also encourage anyone who wishes to see the "real story" to visit him as well, the negative posters would obviously benefit the most. Spend some time with Devon, or any elder that is in a care facility. Stop in and thank one of the many WWII veterans for fighting for your freedom. The more time you spend there, the more you will appreciate the things you take for granted every day.

Devons internet is now working and his email address is:
dirtdemon2000@yahoo.com

He's had the same email address since he was a kid and into dirt bikes and ATV's. Send him a note if you have a spare moment.

Ben Thompson

Anonymous said...

How can I contact devon. My heart goes out to him