Homes are gone; friends remain | story, March 27
Elders are shoved aside by greed
Another storm has hit Pinellas County and has totally demolished every home in Bay Pines Mobile Home Park in Seminole. There was no insurance available that the homeowners could have purchased to protect them from this storm. No government agency such as FEMA to help them. This storm was not an act of nature.
This storm was allowed in the name of "progress" and "development." These homeowners have lost their homes valued at up to $30,000 with only a stipend of $1,375 or $2,750 from the state. Many had resided at Bay Pines for 20 or 30 years. They have not been evicted for nonpayment of rent or foreclosure. They were robbed of their homes and lifestyle by corporate greed.
These proud citizens, who have always been self sufficient and never asked for a handout, asked only to be allowed to stay in their homes and retain their independence. It seems unfair that there was no protection for these senior citizens. In the case of eminent domain seizures, the owners receive payment for their homes.
I realize there is no room for compassion in big business where nothing matters but the bottom line of profit. This is just another instance of getting rid of the older generation when they get in the way.
We haven't quite reached the stage of euthanasia yet — not quite.
Neva Wise, Tarpon Springs
Kudos to staff
at Helen Ellis
In a time when there is so much tragedy and sadness in the news, I would like to share a bright spot I discovered in an unlikely place. Being unable to breathe was the unhappy circumstance that brought me to the Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital emergency room in Tarpon Springs, but from the moment I walked through the door, I was given the best care.
I was quickly evaluated and stabilized. I was admitted to the hospital and became part of an ever-changing sixth-floor community of patients, caregivers and support staff.
Being a curious man, I often inquired about the life circumstances of these people. People from all nationalities and walks of life came across my path, some who told of great struggles and some of life victories, yet they all shared a common bond: caring for people in need.
And care they do. Passionately, faithfully, daily. From the top doctors to the unappreciated yet vital floor cleaner, each one gives their utmost to care for the needs of others. A week after my admission, I was discharged to rehab, where I remain until I am released to go home.
After contemplating my Helen Ellis experience, I realize that these people didn't just choose careers or jobs to earn a paycheck. They truly want to touch lives and make a difference. Many of them don't realize just how much difference their contributions make, no matter the size. I can't help wondering if we, the larger community, showed similar care and compassion in this small community, what kind of difference would it make?
I encourage you to seek out Helen Ellis if you ever have a medical need. It will be the finest care you can find.
Tracy Beardsley, Clearwater, for patient Lewis Reynolds