Meg Casey
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"Most Able Disabled"

Meg Casey's handicapped issues column

Clearing Snow

Meg Casey
February 16 1983

Dear Meg,

I am contacting you once again hoping you might be of help my children and I find solution to our present dilemma as you have done for us before. You know that my husband must go for dialysis treatments three days a week on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays due to kidney failure from a diabetic condition. We have been gone for these treatments for the past six years. These trips are very important. We don’t miss them because doing so would be a matter of my husband’s life or death.

Over the years his diabetes has caused a loss of sight, heart failure, this kidney failure and the amputation of one of his legs this past summer which has also left him with the problem of inaccessibility in his own home while using his wheelchair.

You know all of this because you helped us earlier this year to find information so that my son could built the ramp we now use to get my husband in and out of the house for dialysis appointments.

Right after we fixed that problem, winter came along and dropped another a blockage in her path, snow and the city snowplows!

The weekend snowfall of February 5 and 6 started it all off. My son and daughter were in front of our house shoveling out the driveway, so that we could move the car closer, and an extra wide path opening round in front of house, so their father could be easily taken to and from the car.

As they were working on this the city snowplow came along and pushed the snow off the street right into the space that had just been cleared. My son went over and explained to city worker operating the machine about his father's problem and just what he and his sister were trying to do. And said "OK" and that he would do best he could.

The plow went off down Deerwood clearing a path in the road but, coming back the men dumped another load of snow directly on top the first one pushed into our driveway! They then proceeded to round the corner on Milford Point Road and pushed the snow back into the sidewalk path. It was intentional and the men were laughing at my son and daughter were yelling furiously after them when they just drove away.

Monday morning my son came back down to dig us out before going into work himself but between time he had gone and I had gotten my husband ready to leave, the plow had been back on the streets and closed in again!

I called the Public Works department and told them how important it was to get to our appointment. The girl promised to give message to the foreman and send some men to get us out in enough time for us to be in Bridgeport for my husband's treatment by 9 a.m.

When no-one had shown by 2 p.m. I called back and the same girl said she would relay the message again but offered no guarantees. She said I should write a formal letter to the head of Public Works. I think I know the circular file they would put us in then so I told her I was going to call Meg Casey and tell her about the whole thing.

Please, is there anything at all to be done so you don't have to go through this nightmare every festival? I hope you can straighten this out, fishing with the forecast for more snow.

Thank you for your time,

Carmela T

Dear Mrs. T

I'm really appalled by the lack of consideration and compassion shown to your family's situation which could easily have led to the loss of life in a prolonged circumstance. I'll certainly try to help you anytime you call me.

After getting all of the facts in your story, I called the Public Works Department. As the chairperson of the Milford Independent Disabled Person's committee I alerted them that we were aware of what had transpired. I too was put in touch with a foreman but wasn't given any more encouraging replies than you were given. The message would be posted but no guarantees were given.

I informed the gentleman that I would be following the proceedings with the promise of snow in forecast; he didn't think that much could be done. I asked the man who was going to be responsible for the loss of life in this case. No reply came to that. I also told him I would be in touch with the mayor and that the incident would be written up in my column in the newspaper.

I spoke with Mayor Jagoe's office explaining your trouble and the treatment you received and was assured that the mayor would be informed. Later that afternoon I received a phone call from the assistant to the mayor, had called the Public Works and that your driveway would be kept clear.

However, Carmela, I recommend that he don't relax you guard on this issue because things simply don't iron out so smoothly around here. To ensure yourself from these promises are indeed fulfilled, keep on calling their office every time snow is predicted. This will keep you fresh in their minds and your mistress at the top the list.

If there ever there seems to be a slackening in the service at either end, please don't hesitate to call me!

Piece of news:

There's is going to be an Adaptive Equipment and Home Care Equipment Demonstration set up in the Mall. All the latest!

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photographs and other content courtesy of the Casey family unless noted
blog posts and art by Meg Casey
originally published 1982 to 1985 in the Milford Citizen newspaper
Memorable Milford regrets that a political dispute has made it necessary to complete this project without the cooperation of a claimant to the original columns
The original author disdained those only seeking to profit from tragedies.
We did not feel that a disagreement should prevent the public from learning and enjoying these incredible pieces of advice and show they are still relevant to today.