City Workers Raise Funds For Disabled Dispatcher
OKLAHOMA CITY - It's been two years since a tragic accident that changed a metro man's life forever when a car accident paralyzed him from the waist down. The man has since been back to work as a dispatcher for the city, but still faces a long road of challenges.
Dezmon Ford's car flipped over two years ago at 28 years old, when he was driving home on back road. He relies on city transportation to get him to work each day, and it's a struggle to get there on time.
"Seemed like a really bad nightmare," said Dezmon Ford.
Ford said his life flashed before his eyes on Feb. 1, 2013 as he was driving home from the movies near Midwest Blvd. and Wilshire.
“There was a possum on the back road, bad instinct, I swerved instead of going straight, and the car flipped after that, all I remember seeing was the stars."
By the time help arrived, Ford couldn't feel his legs.
"When I was in the car, I thought I was just jammed up. I didn't realize how bad off I was until they took me out."
Now, two years later, he's back to work as a dispatcher for Oklahoma City Water Maintenance. He even has a desk that once belonged to Oklahoma City Police Officer Chad Peery, who too was paralyzed from the waist down, then died a few months after visiting Ford in the hospital.
Getting around is a challenge that Ford's co-workers notice. They've done 12 fundraisers on his behalf to help pay for medical bills. And now they want to buy him a car so that he doesn't have to take city shuttle to work.
“It doesn't get him here every day at the same time so I think it's a challenge,” said Vanice Goncalves, Ford's dispatcher unit leader.
Goncalves said she was one of the first people Ford's family called. And even in the hospital, he kept talking about getting back to work.
Ford has to stay at work later each day to make up hours he misses for coming to work late, but he's grateful his job understands.
“Just the people in my life, a lot of people pulled together to help me to get where I am, so any time I feel like I want to give up, I always think of all the people who have supported me since this accident happened,” Ford said.