Blind woman saved by home aide

75-year-old Youlanda Galreath has had a tough life. She TMs legally blind. Two of her six children were born blind too. She lost two daughters, one to a car wreck, the other to suicide. Youlanda suffers constant pain from fibromyalgia; she has nausea and no sense of smell. In January, her sister who lived with her had to go to a nursing home, leaving Youlanda alone. Since then, Youlanda has suffered a heart attack and in May she lost her 15-year-old dog, Sparky. This month, Youlanda faced possible death when a gas leak poisoned her home.

You could look at the gas leak as another example of bad luck for Youlanda. Or you can see it as a blessing. That TMs what Youlanda prefers. She has a guardian angel on her side.

Youlanda was at home, suffering from nausea and a wicked headache when her NECAC home aide came to the door. Joyce Kemp visits Youlanda several times a week, helping with shopping, cooking, cleaning and other chores that Youlanda can TMt manage for herself. When Joyce made this visit, she knew immediately something was wrong. She could smell the noxious gas that Youlanda couldn TMt. Joyce got her out of the house and called 911.

If it hadn TMt been her day to come to the house, I guess I would TMve got blown up, Youlanda told me from her home in Mexico, MO. She TMs pleasant, nice and friendly. I call her my guardian angel.

Joyce has helped Youlanda for three years through the Northeast Community Action Corporation, headquartered in Bowling Green. The agency provides services to low-income, elderly, handicapped and disadvantaged clients. Youlanda fits in basically every category; but today she feels nothing but blessed by her guardian angel TMs rescue.

Take care ~Sarah D.