Its 9:06 am
Its a cold overcast morning,looks like the Queen of Snow really must have been dancing hard last night because it sure LOOKS like snow. We are still on track to get a inch or less starting around 4 pm-ish.
I see another of the original IC has followed me here....I thank you a lot for that,Paul. Sort of cool to check in and see another reader has joined up. We're up to 5 now....and very thankful you are all here.
24 May 2011
Last year on that day here in Detroit,a fight broke out on a neighborhood street. Yelling,screaming..who knows what the beef was but in typical American style,someone had enough and went to get a problem solver.
You all know what which kind of problem solver that was grabbed. So now here is a young woman brandishing a gun and pretty soon the bullets start flying.
26 year old Verily Vereen,a mother of two is on her front porch minding her own business with her family. Street beefs are nothing new in neighborhoods,they happen and most are settled quickly and peacefully.
But Detroit is different,far too many times people in Detroit hear someone yell "I'm getting my gun" and in this city,it isn't a empty threat,its a promise.
And so it was that day and Verily Vereen started shooing in her family into the house,out of harm's way. Except that she was just a heartbeat too late to save herself. As she turned away and got the several small children into the relatively safety of her home,Fate came calling in a form of a wildly shot bullet.
Again,Verily,had no part in this fight,she was just a innocent by-stander here. But when people pick up a gun and fire it,it doesn't give a shit if you're innocent,guilty,red,black,white or brown. It only knows what it was designed for...to shatter lives. And in this case,it achieved it goal ever so well...
One second Verily is a strong loving mother of two...the next,she is bleeding from being shot in the neck. She falls on her porch,her first thoughts must have been..."please,don't let any of my kids or cousins be shot" because that is how a mother's brain works. No,it was just Verily lying there,blood pouring out.
Calls go to 911...a neighbor,Sonja Bennett rushes over and applies pressure to help stop the bleeding.
People gathering around,shocked at what happened. Waiting for the help to come to help Verily.....waiting.....still waiting,more calls to 911. Where IS that ambulance????
The people of Detroit know how bad the EMS system is,they live with it every day. Half of the 24 rigs are out of service most days,they are under-equipped and stressed to the max. I blogged already how the new Fire Commissioner said he was ordering brand new ambulances but the city is so poor,it can't afford them and its credit is bad,no one will loan the money.
But even for Detroit's hardened citizen's,this response time is beyond bad....more waiting as Verily blood seeps into Sonja's hands. Kids are crying for their momma....people wondering where the ambulance is at.
Someone says "Lets take her ourselves! She'll die here if she doesn't get help!" But Verily can't be moved,she has no feelings in her arms or legs. If they and move her,no matter how well the intention is,they'll finish what that gun has started.
After 30 hellish minutes a Detroit EMS unit arrives on scene and after stabilizing Verily,transport her to the ER.
The police also come and they arrest the woman who fired the gun. Whose anger and mindset had conditioned her to solve her issues not with a brain but with steel,American style.
But in the ER,a bitter irony unfolds...because IF you are going to be shot,being shot in the D isn't such a bad thing. Why? Let's put it this way kids,you know the US is involved in two wars and many of troops got shot to shit or blown up by IEDs. You hear about how our troops survival rate is so much improved because doctors are able to treat them so much better now. Well that is because the trauma doctors get their training by working the inner cities shootings in Detroit,Philly,Chicago and Baltimore. They see so many combat type bullet wounds that they are able to practice new techniques in the operating rooms!
So when you are shot with a gun here,you have a much better chance of making it out alive! Provided you get a ambulance to get to you in 30 minutes or less.
Verily is operated on...and on....and on. The bullet has left its terrible mark on her,she has gone from a strong woman to becoming a quadriplegic.
All over something stupid.....
But Verily is a fighter and so is her sister,Denita. Denita throws her considerable might into the fray,taking care of Verily and her kids. Bathing,dressing and encouraging Verily. She is responding well,she has some movement in her hands,she can somewhat hold her kids. Denita quits her job to help her sister,she can't afford to hire a 24-7 nurse for her. The problems they face are incredible. The house they have (I don't know if its owned or rented by the sisters) isn't equipped for a handicapped person. The daily washing of Verily is extremely hard and sad. Because Denita was caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of taking care of her sister and working and leaving her job,the insurance is about to run out and then what?
One small bullet.
The average cost of treating a gunshot victim like Verily can cost a million dollars over the victim's lifetime.
A million dollars. Not all cases,a lot of quadriplegics don't live a long life,their bodies are so broken in so many places that a mere cold can kill them if it develops in pneumonia.
Fox 2 Detroit ran an update on the sisters last night and I'll post the link to the report in a minute.
I don't know the Vereens but in a sense I do. Because once gun violence touches you,be it the shooter or the victim,it really changes everything. The woman who shot Verily was arrested,charged and convicted for her crime. She is in jail,locked up. But you tell me,who really is the prisoner here? And to top it off,she shows no remorse to the lives she altered so sadly on 24 May 2011.
If you like to help.....please repost this story to your friends and neighbors.
If you feel like donating anything....
WJBK FOX 2
P.O. Box 2000
16550 West 9 Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48037-2000
Attn: Andrea Isom- Verily Vereen
This will link you to Andrea's report.
Thanks for reading.