Meet Matthew Blaylock, the latest grant recipient of the Joseph Groh foundation, an organization Jackson Systems supports each year.
Most of us take for granted the freedom of mobility that our motor vehicles provide us. For many who become disabled however, the one-two punch of loss of income coupled with the cost of specialized transportation is difficult to overcome.
Please take a minute to read Matt’s story and consider how great of a difference a community can make in one person’s life.
We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
After Matt graduated from high school in Leesville, South Carolina, he decided to pursue a career as an electrician. He became a licensed, bonded and insured residential electrician in the state of South Carolina, and has been working in that capacity for the past 13 years. As an electrician, Matt ran wiring for new homes and performed work in pre-existing homes. He completed electrical projects ranging from vacuum systems to alarm systems and home automation. He also was involved in building home theater systems from the ground up. On a hot summer day in 2011, Matt decided to join some friends for an afternoon on the water, having been on a job that morning. He was looking forward to relaxing and cooling off.
When Matt dove into the water, he hit his head on the bottom, breaking his neck at the C-4/C-5 vertebra.
As a result of the accident, Matt is now a quadriplegic. Like most newly paralyzed individuals, Matt had reoccurring issues that caused him to regularly seek medical attention. The accident however had devastated his finances and he had no independent way to get to these appointments. He had to either rent handicapped accessible vehicles or use an ambulance for more severe issues. Living in a rural community east of Columbia, South Carolina made that a difficult and expensive proposition. He needed a vehicle but finances stood in the way.
Matthew’s aunt lives in Frisco, Texas and as it happens, one of the members of her church is a friend of the foundation who introduced him to the Joseph Groh foundation. Handicapped accessible vehicles generally rank high on the list of needed items for newly disabled individuals, but they can also be very expensive. The demand for affordable and reliable transportation is high, so when a suitable vehicle is found action must be taken quickly.
Due to the generosity of supporters, the foundation was able to act quickly when Matt’s parents found the right van.
Following receipt of the vehicle Matt wrote, “My family and I cannot thank you enough for all your help. This was my most pressing need as I have had major difficulties getting to doctor appointments etc. Thank you so much for this van.”
The Joseph S. Groh Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to employees, former employees, family members of employees and former employees of the construction trades industry (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing etc.) who have suffered permanent spinal cord injuries or other permanent and life altering disabilities. This charitable organization will not engage in any non exempt activity.
For more information on the Joseph S. Groh Foundation, please visit http://www.josephgrohfoundation.org/