Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

Man who inspires other in nursing home given new wheelchair

DADE CITY — When Danny Bush, a double amputee, first arrived at Heritage Park Nursing Center in November, his first question was how he could help other residents.

Now every Monday through Saturday, the 49-year-old sorts and hand delivers mail sent to residents at the nursing center. He rides in a wheelchair from room to room doling out hugs and handshakes along with the mail, even stopping to read letters to those with vision problems.

"One person can lift the atmosphere of a whole place," said activities director Nila Premer. "He hasn't had the easiest life, and he still lifts us all up."

While Bush, disabled at age 24 in a car accident, always has plenty of smiles and kind words to offer his neighbors at Heritage Park, what he didn't have was an operable wheelchair. His 5-year-old, manually operated model was highly uncomfortable and difficult to navigate.

"I couldn't recline or support myself in the chair," he said. "Sometimes a part would fall off of the chair. I'd pick it up, put it back on and keep going."

Bush's parents, Sandra and Owen Bush of Dade City, raised money to help repair their son's chair, but as the repairs kept coming and costs mounted, both they and Heritage Park staff members realized a new chair was needed.

"Danny would get down sometimes," said Sandra Bush. "And a bad day for Danny is a bad day for everybody else. He lifts everyone's spirits."

A May Pasco Times story detailed Bush's volunteer work at Heritage Park, mentioning his need for a new chair to facilitate his daily rounds. The story prompted Heritage Park's parent company, Gulf Coast Health Care LLC, to give Bush a new, electronically operated wheelchair valued at $3,900.

Working in collaboration with Jeffrey Ward, administrator of Heritage Park, Gulf Coast purchased the chair from Marc's Mobility in Lakeland. Gulf Coast covered the full cost of the chair, with no assistance available from government or insurance programs.

Kathleen Wesolowski, director of operations at Gulf Coast, was on hand last week to help present the chair to Bush.

"The funds that we have to provide wheelchairs for our residents are few and far between, with legislative funding for nursing care centers always on the chopping block," she said. "But Craig Robinson, president of Gulf Coast LLC, saw Danny's story in the Times and was so touched. We knew we had to help this man who helps our residents."

On Wednesday afternoon in a room normally reserved for bingo, the staff gathered near a banner for Bush that hovered just above his new wheelchair. Some of the nurses started yelling out bingo calls to give the impression that a game was under way.

Finally Bush entered the room flanked by his parents, his eyes flying wide as patients and staff members cheered his name.

Then he saw the chair at the head of the room.

"I can't believe it," he said, fighting back tears. "Thank you all so very much."

Then he took a test drive.

"One year when I was a teen-ager, my folks got me a '67 Mustang as a present," he said as he cruised down the hallway. "I think that just about matches this gift."

The chair, Bush said, would mean less pain and more ease of movement for him, especially during his daily mail runs and during his stints as a volunteer Bible school teacher at Dade City Christian Church. And according to Dr. Thomas Edwards, Bush's physician, the benefits of this new chair will enhance and improve his patient's life.

"For an active person like Danny, this chair will mean increased mobility," he said. "And chairs like this are good for a patient's psychology as well."

In the eyes of Ward, the chair is a fitting gift for a patient who has brought far more than mail to Heritage Park residents.

"He's always greeting other residents, talking to them and hearing their stories," he said. "He encourages them to … come to the activities we have here, and he encourages them in life."

"Danny brings joy to us," he said. "He inspires us."

Comments
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 6 hours ago