People Matter

dumpster-concept“They took my wife, they took my house and they took all my money” he told me while I was trying to help him out of the dumpster. This is an incident I went through on duty working as a Security Officer. It all started with a report from an employee that there was an old man stuck in our dumpster in the back of the building. I reported to the area to discover a man who appeared to be of the age of around 70 years old lying on top of a pile of soft trash in the dumpster. I asked him if was OK and he replied to me that he couldn’t get out of the dumpster. The first thought that came to me was that he was a vagrant who was sleeping off the effects of alcohol or drugs, but soon learned that he was an old man in great despair. I immediately got him a bottle of water and contacted the local paramedics to assist. I managed to stand him up, but he just couldn’t climb himself out of that dumpster, so we just stood together and waited for medical help to arrive. As we did we chatted as I asked him why he was in the dumpster in the first place. He explained to me that he had gone into the hospital and was there for a long time. He didn’t explain to me what his medical condition was and as a professional I was not in a position to ask. What he did tell me was that when he was released from the hospital he found out that his wife had passed away and and when he got home he found that his house was sold. He couldn’t recall exactly how long he was in the hospital, but during that time his life was torn apart. His bank account was closed by his wife at one point to do whatever she could to pay for his hospital stay. The paramedics arrived and along with them was a social worker. When they asked him where he lived at he gave them the name of the hospital.

This incident happened a few weeks ago and I have been trying to wrap my head around it since. A hospital stay can feel like a moment and in just that one moment our lives can change so drastically that we find ourselves seeking refuge in a dumpster. Yesterday I read that the industry that holds the highest profits in the last two years is the medical industry followed by the banking industry.

The hospital staff managed to save this man’s life while the hospital administration had destroyed it at the same time. I can totally understand that he feels he has nothing left to live for. What a sad, sad situation and it has come to light that this could happen to anyone of us and a lifetime of working and building can be taken away from us with just one trip to the hospital. How many others have already felt this devastation? This man’s wife who loved him so much that she gave away everything in the hope of saving his life and I could probably imagine that the stress alone is what killed her.

It is my hopes that this man in the dumpster gets the help he needs and is able to find light at the end of the tunnel, but the reality is… Well, you know where I am going with this. It is also my hopes that the country I live in wakes up and realizes that people really do matter and profits over human lives is destroying the very fabric of America.

Blood Sugar- 89, Weight- 180.8

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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46 Responses to People Matter

  1. enriquesmassage says:

    What a sad story!

  2. A story that really makes you think how lucky you are.

  3. geekkat says:

    oh wow…poor man. It makes you so thankful for everything.

  4. Jo says:

    Recently our friend told us her elderly neighbor was having a yard sale to sell the contents of his home which he was also selling along with his car to pay medical bills. How he expects to live I’m not sure; perhaps he doesn’t. Your story is not an anomaly. I count my blessings. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  5. oconahua says:

    Agree! Remember when we had free or low cost clinics……free hospitals? I do.. I tell people this, and I am only 55, they look at me like I am nuts. There is a ton of money in medical care and there is not much education any longer for people to grab their own health care away from the system that pulls them in. Crazy…..there is no profit in people being healthy in the healthcare system.

  6. enriquesmassage says:

    We are in so much need of Good Samaritans. People in high places willing to do the right thing for those in need. I guess that is an eroded concept today.

  7. Leopold says:

    People forget it’s important to take care of each other

  8. New Journey says:

    Its a great thought Billy, and there are a lot of good people in positions out there trying to make it better for the rest of us…but certainly not enough….not to be the negative Nellie in the room, but… all through my 58 years of life, if there is one thing I have learned, it is in most cases, there is the exception, thank God, that the men and women who are in in the positions to make a difference become swept up in the need for greed, whether it be money or power. They may have had great ambition and believed in what they initially were fighting for, but many, not all, get lost along the way…I am glad to say I am seeing more and more smaller groups rallying together and making a difference in there communities. Its so true that the suits in administration have really no idea what’s going on down in the trenches of the business and nor do they care, as it has all come down to the number on the bottom line…we aren’t even people with a name anymore, we are just a number on a line, and we all have the same notation by our names, it starts with a $$$$ sign, then after that its just who is costing the most, must go….really its like that in all big corporate business, doesn’t matter what they are selling…
    Glad this elderly guy had you in his corner, the Social Workers are fabulous people and I have never met one that didn’t care…and move whatever stone they needed to, to get the help someone needed….fingers crossed they were able to give this man some much needed relief in life, unfortunately he was raped by society but at least lets hope he can finish his days out in some sort of peace….

    • Everybody had hope in “The Affordable Care Act”, but as it turned out it was written by the Insurance Companies, never read by anyone on congress and has helped to sour profits for those companies to record highs.

  9. jncthedc says:

    Your article is a great example of why I write about health on my site. What has happened to the value of human life? Technology has increased the suppression of important information that could assist individuals in making better informed decisions about their health and overall life. We, as a culture, are slow to waking up to the realization that our rights and liberties are being taken from us under the pretense of national security. We must find a balance between massive inequality and current regulatory controls. If the masses do not lift their faces to see the reality of our current direction, those in power will gladly continue to profit at our expense.

    You wrote a very powerful article.

    • Thank You. If something isn’t done soon I do fear that we will be going through another revolution. I know of a group of nurses who drive around and take care of people that the system has turned there backs on. Profits over people has to end.

  10. jncthedc says:

    Reblogged this on All About Healthy Choices and commented:
    This article clearly demonstrates the ongoing difficulties we face as our country moves away from its founding principles toward a focus on profit and personal success at the expense of anyone with alternative views.

  11. webbermd says:

    Wow, our system is truly broken when profits mean more than people.

  12. Fit n Fine TN says:

    This made me cry. This man’s situation is entirely possible for many of us… myself included. Being disabled, I am just one tragedy away from that poor man’s demise. No wonder anxiety, fear and depression are so prevalent in our society.

  13. Howto$tuffYourPig says:

    This story is a great reminder of what we have become as a nation. It saddens me to know that we are now a nation driven by profits with no regard for human lives. The other day at the grocery store, a man had fallen down in the isle. I watched one person after another step around him with no offer of assistance what so ever. One by one they stepped over him like he was worthless and were aggravated that he was in their way. We stepped in to help, but I was angry, hurt, and saddened to know that I live in a time of complete selfishness. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that there are good people….many good people still on this planet today who work hard to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

  14. Helen says:

    Poor man – shocking that this could happen in such a rich country. I hope mine doesn’t go the same way… Makes me value the National Health Service here: last week alone my daughter had a trip to the doctors, a course of antibiotics and three X-Rays for the princely sum of £0.00. (Well, of course there is a cost – in the form of taxes – but that is much more cost effective than private insurance.)

  15. Pingback: People Matter | INJURED NO MORE

  16. BILL says:

    Hard to read this post. I recently had a hospital experience with brain surgery and going in, the one concern I had was what I might be like when I woke up. Thankfully everything went well, but the events that led to my surgery meant that at one point I couldn’t remember the simplest things, write a letter, drive a car, make decisions the list goes on. The difference is that I live in Australia and we have a free medical system so my house and my assets where always safe. I never worried that I might not be able to afford my care.

  17. That’s such a sad story. What’s the deal in the US if you have no means of paying for medical treatment such as this poor gentleman? Do they have no duty of care at all?

  18. Boomdeeadda says:

    Oh my goodness. Poor man, this must haunt you now. I know it would me. I came to say thank you for visiting at my Blog there other day. Homelessness is very much a part of our community and it really makes me thankful that I have a home. My husband and live very near to the center of our city, there are somettimes panhandlers but most often just people in dispair who try not to make eye contact with the social fabric of the city. I’m always mindful to ask them their name when we meet so that they might feel less invisible, if only for that moment. I dearly hope your rescue has found help thru the social worker.

    • I pray that he is OK. Throughout my life I have tried to help many homeless folks and in most cases discovered that they really didn’t want much help other than a few dollars to purchase either drugs or alcohol. I know that like this man there are many who are in desperate need but are mixed in with a great deal of homeless people who don’t want the same type of help. Still, I do try to read them and figure it out and lend help when I can. I have a list that I carry of all support services and shelters in the area to give to them, but usually they just get angry and throw the list away.

  19. Anne Marie says:

    I was so moved by this post.

  20. suzewannabe says:

    What an amazing story! I do hope that if I find myself in a similar situation that I will remember the words that I read from Ekhart Tolle:

    “and the Zenmaster said ‘enter from here'”.

  21. Jenn Prime says:

    I’ve been busy, but I’ve been meaning to tell you how much this post touched me. Your compassion warms my heart, too many people ignore the suffering they see around them. Sometimes, all a person needs is someone to talk to, someone to note their existence, someone to show that there are people who care. Thank you.

  22. ttabor says:

    Thank you for being kind to him, for engaging with him and listening to him… You gave him a gift that day…

  23. fallcorn1936 says:

    It really bothers me that our Government spend billions of dollars on helping other countries and yet does not have time to look at the situation at home. This is the richest country in the world and there should not be any want of any kind for all that live here. Being poor is not a crime, it is, however a major injustice by those in positions of power who could change it all. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Those in a position of power work for the big corporations who have created this problem in the first place. We have even passed laws allowing the insurance companies to run our national health care plans.

  24. Touched……..I love this!

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