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SUPPLY—Every day is pretty much the same for one Supply couple.
She is confined to bed. He is barely able to move from his recliner.
Wayne and Debbie Elliott get by the best they know how. They moved to Supply in 2003 from South Carolina. Seven years ago, Debbie had an accident that has since confined her to a bed.
“I had fallen at work and at the grocery store, but the third fall is what put me in the bed,” Debbie said.
She crushed her hip and broke her wrist in the third fall.
“Wayne took care of me by himself for the first three years, but he got to where he couldn’t do it anymore,” Debbie said.
Wayne, a Vietnam veteran who was drafted into the Army in 1969 and later served as a police officer for more than nine years, has injuries and physical conditions himself.
A nursing aide used to visit the Elliott’s home seven days a week. Wayne says that changed in August when his Social Security benefits changed. Now the couple must pay out of pocket for someone to take care of Debbie.
“We don’t make enough on the Social Security check,” Wayne said. “Our food stamps were dropped from $250 a month to nothing. We get $16 now.”
Even getting to her multiple doctors’ appointments are monstrous tasks. Debbie must be taken by ambulance to her appointments.
“It’s $400 plus $9 a mile each trip,” Debbie said. “I’ve been canceling doctors’ appointments because it costs so much.”
The couple feels like they are an example of people who have slipped through the cracks.
“We are just here,” Debbie said.
“We were fine when we had Medicaid,” Wayne said. “They want to put us in a nursing home.”
But that is one option Elliotts don’t want.
“It’s been seven years and I never had a bed sore,” Debbie said. “I am living proof that if you take care of yourself, you don’t get bed sores.”
The couple is thankful for the help they have received. They are recipients of Meals on Wheels and can’t say enough good things about the program and its volunteers. Additionally, they have received help from the Brunswick County Housing Authority to build a wheelchair accessible deck, to replace a leaky roof and to make the restroom accessible.
The Elliotts celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in July and though they spend almost every minute of every day together in their living room, they say they are still in love and are still best friends.
They say they aren’t looking for sympathy. Help has come in the way of a friend Paul Covel who met the Elliotts about six months ago. Since then he has been helping take Wayne back and forth to the doctor and runs errands for them. He says they need more help than he can provide.
“When we met, we became instant friends,” Covel said. “They can’t find anyone to help with their needs. I am hoping there are churches or other organizations out there who can help people who are falling through the cracks