Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa should come to Dominic's house this year.


This holiday season everyone reading this should give thanks that they are not Joanne and David Stratton. The South Jersey couple has not exactly lived the A-merry-can dream:

"THE STRATTONS aren't on a reality-television show about extreme makeovers. They're not swapping lives or wives with another couple who has it tough. There's no British nanny flying in with a film crew to help them care for a boy with cerebral palsy.


Reality for David and Joanne Stratton and their 7-year-old son, Dominic, is a 617-square-foot home, a former chicken coop that was built in 1940 in what is now the affluent suburb of Mount Laurel. Their days and nights play out in the small space that serves as the couple's bedroom, Dominic's therapy room and, when there's a rare visitor, the living room it was intended to be.
There's foul water that gurgles up from their well and worn carpet that Dominic lies on to play with toys or watch his beloved female Philadelphia news anchors because there's no room there for a walker or a wheelchair.

The Strattons, a fiercely proud and humble family, never had any room for charity either and weren't comfortable being the guests of honor at recent community fundraisers held for them.
"Me and Joanne never asked for anything," said David, 42, seated on a coffee table pushed against a television in the cramped living room. "We're kind of quiet people. "We've always just depended on each other."'

Thankfully for the Strattons, some good neighbors (Including a current and former Philadelphia Eagle.) understand the true meaning of the holiday season, and they have been trying to help them.

Still, I am left to wonder; if we had universal health care in this country would poor little Dominic and the Strattons be in this position? I am just wondering out loud. The author did not mention how the Strattons have been paying to take care of Dominic's medical needs, because I am guessing it wasn't the focus of his article. But I am. And I am wondering just how many more families like this are living in A-merry-ca, today.

Chicken coops are for chickens. Human beings in first world countries -especially ones with disabled children- should be able to live in a house.

49 comments:

Ernesto said...

Taking care of every sick little kid would be too much like SOCIALISM, field. And we can't have that because, well because it's UN-AMERICAN. At least that's what I heard some cross-eyed Black dude saying on TV the other night.

NSangoma said...

~
Both mom and dad are lard-busters, so they are not suffering too, too, tough; at least not food wise.
http://www.philly.com/philly/gallery/20091212_GROWING_WINGS_TO_FLY_THE_NEST.html
The kid, he should have left to die at birth.
`

Race Traitoress said...

Universal health care doesn't even get discussed, field. The best we can seem to do is a pathetic "public option" that's not going to make a damned bit of difference, if it even makes it to reality.

I want Canadian health care, or, better yet, French! Ninety percent satisfaction rate sounds great to me.

ch555x said...

We're still in that "peculiar" frame of mind in this country. Them top 1%ers are doing their best to keep their funds and the erst of the population either can't agree or don't care...sound familiar?

ch555x said...

edit:
"...and the rest..."

You can tell I'm getting tired of even discussing this!

c.c.-kathy said...

people do live in chicken coops, hard to believe but true, we had some "chicken coop apartments" in my old neighborhood.

Max Reddick said...

Shaking my head thinking that we gotta do better. Recently saw a documentary about how many are living in the state of Mississippi. It's almost as if they are living in the late 19th century.

Smashed The Tiny Black Box said...

The Strattons, a fiercely proud and humble family, never had any room for charity either and weren't comfortable being the guests of honor at recent community fundraisers held for them.

If you have sewage seeping from your carpet, have about 200sqft or less of living space per person, and you have a disabled child, maybe it's time to ask for help. It won't make you a leech or lay about. I believe you should do what you must for your child. This is too much for them to handle.

We could regulate healthcare billing practices. The pricing abuses of doctors, hospitals and the insurance company can be corrected. Once upon a time, banks were regulated. Just a suggestion. Why should a box of tissues cost $50 in a hospital.

Anonymous said...

FIELD, did you miss something? these people are turning DOWN HELP! people are willing to lend a helping hand, but, yet, these people are too PROUD to accept it, so their son has to live in a CHICKEN COUP! tell me what PARENT'S in their RIGHT mind's, would subject their sick child to live in such surrounding's?

NSangoma, you have Issue's! and trust me, what you said about this child, will not be forgotten by God, trust me, you may wake up tomorrow with your entire BODY..... that is, if God, decide's he want's to wake you..... so TRY to sleep tonight!

Jody said...

Anon 10:29... they are uncomfortable because we say that as a society to accept help means you are a failure... and that is just sad... And it also belies the truth that at some point we all need a helping hand with something in our lives...

The fact that they spoke with the reporters and were willing to attend a fundraiser suggests they are willing to accept help... they are sadly just feeling shame for needing it. That is as much of an indictment of US as it is their pride.

NSangoma said...

~
Anonymous 10:29 PM

I do not recognize nor fear your gawd.
`

La♥Incognita said...

Field, Cerebral Palsy is no excuse. That little child failed to pull up his boot straps.

We have to prioritize with our federal and tax monies. We have corporations to bail out, vacations to take, bonuses to get, plastic surgery to get, and a war to fund. Socialism? No way! (but that shouldn't quite include our social security right?)

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Field... It's sad that our health care needs are now being decided by individuals (Congress and the Senate). How can we continue to allow people that have the best care decide for the rest. In my world- I would like for them to have the same care (none) until they can decide a plan for all Americans. We don't have royalty in USA but this care for these guys are close. PS.. working in hospitals on/off for 40 years I see the misery of people's inabilty to afford basic health and dental care. I see in the future a drastic lowering of health care due to USA no longer have jobs that provide salaries to pay for ever increasing insurance rates. I feel for the family's plight and after soo many years of seeing this and other familys tradgedies I can only pray that this family, as well as others, do whats morally right.

Anonymous said...

The REP/CON have beat up on the HEALTH CARE BILL so bad that, POVERTY STRICKEN AMERICAN'S are reduced down to a rubble! and yes, some probably do feel ashamed to ask for HELP or receive it!

You know what, these WHITE DEVIL'S will answer to God for what they are trying to do to this country! and YES, I said DEVIL!

These people are living HIGH off the HOG! and yet, they PRETEND as if they care about the FUTURE of AMERICA! please! this is another TACTIC of the WHITE MAN, they have ROBBED, KILLED, and LIED their way into PROSPERITY! look at heir HISTORY! GREED and more GREED! this is WHO THEY are!

I don't know what will happen in 2012, but, this I know, I don't ever want to see a WHITE MAN as PRESIDENT ever again, and that go's for a DEMOCRAT as well! look at what is going on in Washington, who is holding up the HEALTH CARE BILL? WHITE FOLK'S! so called Democrat's trying to SABOTAGE the HEALTH CARE BILL! why? because, they don't want the CREDIT to go to a BLACK PRESIDENT, for doing what WHITE PRESIDENT'S in the past could not do! this is what it all come's down too!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time to care more about humans than money. Socialism, anybody?

Anonymous Doc. said...

Here's another angle to this story. This young man will NEVER be able to satisfy his natural urges to have sex with a woman. This is one of the reasons why prostitution should be legal. Not every "John" is a Tiger, some are just desperate men who can't get the attention of ANY women, in many cases, because they have handicaps.

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Anon...thats an excellant thought. The 'haves" once again have not to worry about being arreste for paying for love. Sex is a major therapeutic option for most situaions. In our society we see this in ALL facets of the Amercan life.

Sam D said...

Field,
these people should be on Medicaid; at least for their child. Someone needs to straighten them out. It is false pride to refuse help that is needed. it would be nice if someone told them that we, the people, as a society, made the decision that it was the right thing to do to provide medical services to those who can not provide it for themselves.

I wish to god that was true for all Americans but it has been done for many of the poorest.

They also should be clued in that they are failing their child by their false pride. He should be in a school program that will work with him to help him develop up to his potential. I wonder if they know that he is eligible for SSI which will pay to his guardians about $600 a month.

Damn, I keep hearing about these things and sometimes it is just a matter of someone hooking them up with the available social services, giving them a stern talk (but not mean) about the justice of making use of the assistance, and helping follow up to make sure they got the help they need.

Do you know how many problems would be alleviated in our fukced up society by housing, simple but adequate housing? It would even save money in the long run.

In this case, if the boy gets sick with pneumonia from this situation he will wind up hospitalized and this could be repeated a number of times in his childhood. Those costs would be more than providing a simple sound house, of the sort that Habitat for Humanity builds.

Housing the long term homeless, most of whom have mental illness complicated by alcohol and drug addictions, has in some part of the country which have these programs, saved the governments money. Providing a decent apartment, furniture and stuff and a case worker that visits frequently costs the county some $25,000 per year. Many of them were racking up ER and hospital bills of over $100,000 a year.

The secret to the sucess of these programs is to treat them decently and NOT require that they remain alcohol and drug free. They can't get their lives on track, take necessary medicines each day when they are on the street with occasional nights at a shelter.

You know if we had a program of actually building houses for those in our country who have none or sorry excuses for housing, would provide a lot of construction jobs as well as helping a whole lot of people become contributing citizens. I am not saying to make them free; there can be rent or rent to own, but it must be reasonable.

Converting the empty McMansions won't work because they are mostly 100 miles from anywhere and people need services and jobs.

We need to start a movement in this country saying RAISE MY TAXES to counter the propaganda going the other way. And we need to stick up for a progressive tax system. If you are making less than a couple hundred thousand your taxes won't be raised. But if you're earning more it won't hurt to put a few more sheckels in the pot.

I say this even though I know it will hit me. I'll bitch in April, but if it mostly goes to repairing our country, I'll be happier the rest of the year.

field negro said...

Nsangoma, go and try to find The Wizard so that he can give you a heart.

Max, you are right,I can only imagine some of the conditions that the folks in the Delta are living in. And this is not a racial issue, it's a human one. Poverty is universal.

Anon 10:29pm, see what Jody says.

Sam D, that was a great comment. Thanks for all the ideas and the info. I think the family is probably are getting SSI, but I am not sure that even with that, it's enough to pay for all the special needs that this child has.

I also loved your ideas around housing. You should send your resume to the O man's administration. :)

field negro said...

"At least that's what I heard some cross-eyed Black dude saying on TV the other night."

Ernesto, leave Ron alone. :)

Anonymous said...

There are existing social services in place that would help this child without "universal" coverage or additional taxes.

Private charity is PROVEN to be more efficient in providing services to the needy on a dollar to dollar basis. I would rather give my money there than to the government.


Why, why, why do people demonize the "RICH"??? They are the ones who pay for everything in this country. Its like complaining when someone picks up the tab at dinner that they didn't buy you dessert.

And finally, why are we using the plight of this family to rip apart other races/points of view. It is not relevant to the story. It is kind and thoughtful of neighbors and friends to pitch in. That is how it should be.

Anonymous said...

Chicken coops are for chickens. Human beings in first world countries -especially ones with disabled children- should be able to live in a house


Work harder, get a house. Just like you did FN.

How many of you live in countries where healthcare is guaranteed and actually have lived that experience to discuss it? Not just, "my sister lived in Canada for a year..." blah blah blah shit.

Anonymous said...

Filled Negro is like an African Dictator. He knows the sentiments of his loyal followers and strokes them via the selection of his posts.

YES! I could not agree more. He chooses carefully how to "butter up" and who to stroke. A poster mentioned a few months back it was like a reality tv show. FN is the producer (as he should be cause it's his blog) but it's a game for him of sorts. Always cadering to his followers.

Just recently, he offended the entire LGBTQ community, and even one of his followers AB stated that the word queer was offensive, but she did not call him out on it. However, he never said much more about it. My sister is a lesbian and I think it was offensive. But folks like me are not his critical mass of loyal followers, so it does not matter. Further proof that FN perpetruates the same notions he speaks illy of.

No wonder Granny called him a "weakling" in one of her messages.

Jody said...

anon 8:50am said:
Why, why, why do people demonize the "RICH"??? They are the ones who pay for everything in this country. Its like complaining when someone picks up the tab at dinner that they didn't buy you dessert.

BULLSHIT! The rich, proportionally pay LESS than most of us! And, their accumulated wealth is from the sweat of OUR LABOR!

And, proportionally the working class give more to charity than the rich. Yours is a CLASSIC hat in hand, oh please be kind to me Mr. Rich Man attitude.

This is about social constructs. Go back to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The world at that time decided that to create civil societies there should be a goal of human needs being met in order for each individual to meet their full human potential. This includes security in their homes and communities, housing, education, and health care.

We have degenerated into this ridiculous notion that meeting needs of people should be optional or leave it to charity.

There is a reason that we have decided that some things should be a shared burden for all. It is because in places where human needs were left to "charity" to meet them, there has been epic FAIL! Look at countries that do not provide for basic education to be free... FAIL for educatiing their children. In this country, we do not provide for higher education for all.. FAIL thus only 24% of our people (US people) have college educations. Health care... FAIL! People die every damn day in this country simply because they lack resources... Where the hell are your Rich People in the wealthiest country on the planet?

What exactly do you think should NOT be left to "charity." Charity is a good thing and I am not trying to be dismissive of the kindness of people everywhere. I do, however passionately believe that charity is limited in it's effectiveness to reach all people in need and for some basic needs of a civil society, you absolutely cannot leave it to the fickleness of fate for who gets help and who does not. Poverty should not be a death sentence. Poverty and lack of access to basic human needs should more properly be viewed as OUR collective failure to meet our full human potential and moral reciprocal obligations under ALL faiths to take care of those "who are the least of us."

Jody said...

Anon 10:07am.... I DID live in Canada for a year and had my second child there.... I LOVED their health care system! I chose my doctor, who I found at a Planned Parenthood clinic. I never waited for my appointments, My child birth at the hospital was a positive experience and the follow up visits were HOME VISITS! from nurses, to make it more convenient for new mothers. The entire experience was: ZERO dollars for prenatal, postnatal and delivery and 11 dollars a day for my private room (a semi private room was 7 dollars a day). Ask any Canadian, British, French, Swede, Swiss, German, Italian, etc where there is a national plan if they want to give up their health care... Answer, a resounding NO

I swear I find the idiots, yes, IDIOTS that are fighting against their own interests for access to health care to be the most myopic, short sighted, selfish baffoons I have seen in along time!!!

Ernesto said...

Anon 8:50 said, "Private charity is PROVEN to be more efficient in providing services to the needy on a dollar to dollar basis. I would rather give my money there than to the government."

So that's your answer to social spending. How about expanding that idea to the military budget, which costs just as much as the entire social security budget and about as much as the medicare/medicaid budget?

DuchessDee said...

Read this in the daily news. i put a couple of dollars in the mail. thanks for letting others know of this family's plight.

Frank Drackman said...

So Jody,
Why don't you fucking go back to Canada???
No Offense,

Frank

Jody said...

Frank... because I was there on a one year work visa, and unlike you, I don't make a habit of breaking the law. When my visa was up, I was back in the states. How's the probation goin by the way???

Frank Drackman said...

Hey Jody, so why don't you defect or immigrate, or wateva ya have to do to live in Canada full time, can't be that hard...Who knows, you might catch the Hivie tomorrow, and then Canada won't take you...
And didn't serve no stinkin' probation, served my entire sentence, no time off for good behavior if you get my drift...
And thanks for checkin out my blog... admit it, its GOOD...

Frank

La♥Incognita said...

I wonder who paid for Frank's infirmary visits?

Oh yeah, we did.

Jody said...

Frank... this is my country by birth. My home. Why the hell should I leave? I prefer to stay and fight for what I believe in and work for my country to be better, do better... isn't that what being a patriot is all about? Only a scondral would suggest leaving. Why do you hate America, Frank aka Vernon?

Keith said...

Damn how selfish can some people be? Millionaire conservatives don't have a leg to stand on.

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime." - Honore de Balza

Anonymous said...

Anon10:13AM, "Just recently, he offended the entire LGBTQ community, and even one of his followers AB stated that the word queer was offensive, but she did not call him out on it."

I noticed that AB has never called Field out on anything. If the person had been anyone else, you can be sure ab would have unloaded on them, especially if they had been a black straight male.

Imo, there is a deep seated prejudice, hatred and abuse in the BC toward homosexuals, ESPECIALLY among black straight men.

I am surprised that Field, as a black man, used the word "queer" and "justified" using it. It can only offend and hurt; nothing good or positive can come of it. But we all make mistakes-some of us apologize and some of us aren't strong enough to do so.

ben said...

Anon at 6:08:

Amen brother. You are a true man bro. We don't use that word and others like it (queer), like nigger in mixed company. It's offensive and divisive. But men like us can and will apologize. Niggers like FN, not so much. Sad man.

Stay strong and keep lovin' all creation man. This blog (posts, trolls, and FN himself) have been heading south for a while now.

Ben

Race Traitoress said...

@Anon at 10:07 - tell me about your experience with universal health care outside of the US. I'd sincerely like to hear it.

Also, I don't remember when field used the term "queer," but I know plenty of those in the LGBTQ community who claim that term with pride, and I have been told it could apply to straight people, as well, who identify as "queer allies." Universities have departments of Queer Studies, and mainstream culture popularized the Queer Eye For the Straight Guy series. I don't think it's fair to say the term can "only offend or hurt; nothing good or positive can come of it."

c.c.-kathy said...

RT,
on the GLBT, here is what I see, just my own personal opinion, not researched or backed up by stats, the GLBT co-opts, or appropriates the Black civil rights movement as there own, while simultaneously, accusing the Black community of being homophobic. Not a pretty picture.

Field's blog is very tongue in cheek, which is why a lot of people probably don't pay attention if FN used the word "queer", he also uses other words that might be considered offensive, to me, it's a very snarky way of putting things. I like Field's blog, it's honest and snarky, it's real.
Well, more to say, some other time.

Roderick Bryant said...

Americans are so afraid that somebody might get something they don't deserve, that they are willing to deny help to those who truly need it...PEACE.

krystalxlyte said...

un.accept.able. It would almost be worth living under all those cameras in England and let these capitalist rats go down while the band plays for just about all of us w/o healthcare and the means to take care of ourselves.

Jody hit it square on. To accept help is a sign of weakness, dependence, and failure which we have only society to blame for such a narrow and haughty outlook trickling down from the 1%ers who don't even live in the real world.

Whats shameful more than these people living in a so called 'first world' country is what I see in the people here in Dubya, Texas (Dallas) in affluent neighborhoods walking in and out malls and department stores with 3&4 bags to their Hummers and not batting an eye at the Salvation army person standing outside near the door ringing the bell...

its a sad sight and whats sadder is there are hardly any charities to take part in on this side of town..

God bless the Strattons and best wishes to them this holiday season..

ps. Duchess that was a very inspiring and kind thing you did..If you can forward me the location where the strattons can be reached to me I will be honored to make a contribution! krystalxlyte@hotmail.com
Thanks!

Bob said...

Perhaps the Strattons are on Medicaid. Medical bills don't seem to be the problem or they'd be over their heads in debt. They need a better house. But what's happening to the Strattons is like winning the lottery. They recognize this. At least they have a roof over their heads, however humble, & Dominic is loved, well fed & cared for. America has many thousands of Strattons.

matw said...

Jody@10:29 Spot on!

Ernesto@12:51 "How about expanding that idea to the military budget ..." doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Blackwater/Xe is an example of such, and we would be far better off without them.

Diverting a tiny fraction of the appropriation money we spend on bullets, we could afford a lot of help for families like the Strattons. Allowing these families to accept it without stigma would be priceless.

matw said...

Duchess, please post a public safe contact to help the Strattons. (Thanks for mentioning krystalxlyte)

Stacks said...

I wonder if there would've been this much concern if they were Black?
I feel for them, but there are thousands, if not millions who live even worse than they do.
Go into any Black neighborhood, and I guarantee you will find a Stratton type family living in some dilapidated old shack a white wouldn't even keep their dog in.

And the donation theory these pricks love to throw around is just a nice way of saying go fuck yourself, I don't owe your nigger ass a goddamn thing. That's what they really mean.
I will not worry about any white strattons, when nothing is being done about all the "strattons" in the Black Community.

agape2010 said...

@FN:

I know this tore at your heart strings, but let me help you out if I can. This little boy and his family are a population of people that I work with daily. But let me get this out of the way first...none of my clients live in renovated chicken coops...so that stumps me. However, I can address your other concerns.

Te father made a very telling statement.."We have always just depended on each other." This sounds like a man too proud to ask for help. In my business the men are normally the ones holding back the child(ren) from achieving and reaching their full potential.

Please believe that while funds have been getting cut steadily for this population with the highest unemloyment and lowest on the ladder of financial stability since 2005; there are services and resources for this child and family.

But you cannot access them unless you are asked to do so...which means the family must reach out. You cannot force services on someone even if they live in a chicken coop with worn carpet and nasty water (laws have changed).

The shame is not in the way they live...the shame lies with the parents thinking they are capable enough to help this child reach his full potential when there are professionals willing to do so and don't make a lot of money while trying.

Welcome to my world!

~agape2010~

Ernesto said...

matw: I think you misunderstood what I said. I asked why not make the military budget dependent on charity instead of tax dollars. In other words, if you want a war, then you pay for it (and also fight in it).

TSC said...

I love a blog that makes fun of NEGROS.

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Anonymous said...

I happen to live in Mt. laurel and have seen the place! All of u who say we shudnt help them r all bastards! U dnt evn knw these people so dnt tlk! U people need to watch what u say on a public sight cuz then u look arogant!

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