Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Another victim of Katrina

Sad, Sad, Sad.

Nearly three years after Katrina, people who survived the storm and its aftermath are still dealing with all sorts of
mental problems. These problems can be directly related to the horrific stress we were all under. People deal
with it in their own ways. Some are okay and some will never be okay again.

Case in point:

From the Times Picayune the story of a 58 year old well-educated man in so much painful denial

For months after Lon Adams' 81-year-old father died, the decomposing body lay in an upstairs bedroom of the Metairie home they shared, raising questions that not even Adams can answer.

"He died. I couldn't deal with it so I just left him there", Adams said Monday while fighting back tears. "I blocked it out of my mind. I was stressed out after Katrina. I just, just don't know."

Adams, 58, said his father died of natural causes, possibly Alzheimer's disease.

Despite being a well-educated, accomplished military and career man, Adams said he still cannot understand why he didn't notify authorities sooner, why he allowed his father's body to stay in bed in an upstairs bedroom for so many months and how he managed to shut out the reality of it all for so long.

I can't explain what happened, Adams said. "I regret it very much."

Lon Adams was taken into custody while his mentally handicapped son, Chad, 31, who also lived at the residence, was turned over to relatives. Lon Adams was taken to West Jefferson Hospital in Marrero for an eight-day mental evaluation and released.

Adams said he was very close with his father. The two lived next-door to one another in eastern New Orleans for 20 years and had lunch every Saturday and Sunday. Leroy Adams was from Bay St. Louis, Miss., but his son grew up in New Orleans and attended Cor Jesu High School. Adams said he graduated from Loyola University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in political science and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans in 1979.

Adams served 28 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1999 as a lieutenant colonel. Adams said he worked for AT&T for 27 years as a project manager until he retired after Hurricane Katrina in November 2005, exhausted and burned out.
He served as a caregiver for his father to keep him from having to go to a nursing home. He said he took his father for treatment at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans until the storm closed the facility.

I know there are some crackpots out there who will view this as 'just another wacko from that crazy place that shouldn't be rebuilt' and I feel sorry
for them for being so narrow minded and cold hearted. This story is quite tragic and I'm sure there are many versions of this within the miles and
miles of devastation wrought by the storm.

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