‘Lend a hand’ event helps man paralyzed when he lifted tank

Published 1:34 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

Life changed almost in an instant for Jimmy and Diane Curry on Dec. 4.

“Daddy bent over to pick up a fish tank,” the couple’s daughter, Tashima Curry Barlow, said. “He felt something like a pop. He fell, but he got up and went inside. He called the doctor to see if they could see him, he was hurting so bad.

“He got in the shower, and he said it felt like his whole body went numb, and he fell,” Barlow said.

Curry managed to crawl to his bedroom, pull himself onto the  bed, and call 911.

“They came out there, but they couldn’t even get in,” she said. “They took the air conditioning out of the window and went in to get him. He couldn’t move.”

Tests in the emergency room showed nothing was broken, so he was transferred to Dothan.

“They drew some fluid off of his spine,” Barlow said. “They felt like if they got in there, in time, he would be all right and able to walk again. But he still can’t feel anything.”

At the time, Mrs. Curry was working at Taylor Linen, but had to resign to take care of her husband.

“Daddy can’t be alone,” Barlow said. “And they said he didn’t qualify for home health.”

Barlow said her father, who is 66, had to retire after a stroke left him blind in his left eye. Before he was paralyzed, he was working parttime at South Central Mental Health Center on weekends. He also has a rare blood cancer.

A benefit is planned for the Currys today at the Church of the Living God, located on Tucker Street in Andalusia.

Rib and chicken plates will be available at lunch for $8 per plate, and sandwiches will be $4.

A choir program, “Lending a Hand,” is set for 7 p.m. at the church, and dinners also will be sold afterward.

Barlow said the family is appreciative of the support, as the Currys have many medical bills and needs.

She said her father learned in physical therapy how to move from the wheelchair to a vehicle or chair with the help of a sliding board, and he uses the CATS service, which has handicapped-accessible vans, to make local doctors’ visits. A wheelchair-accessible van would be a godsend for her parents, Barlow said.

The Currys also have two other daughters, Catina Curry Brown and Stacy Gonzalez.