Community aids in woman’s road to recovery, one card at a time

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich-- The founder of Lori's Voice, a local non-profit dedicated to helping young people with disabilities, is on the road to recovery after she was hurt in a crash.

Lori was injured on December 19 in a crash on 48th Avenue and Arthur Street in Wright Township.

David Hastings, her husband, was driving on Arthur Street when he failed to stop and was hit by Lawrence Weiss, 52, who was driving northbound on 48th Avenue.

If you don't know Lori Hastings, you wouldn't know that Lori was actually bound to a wheelchair before this crash due to her muscular dystrophy. But now, Lori is suffering with a broken femur, pelvis, heel, and ankle. As you can imagine, for Lori, a lot of things are changing, but as they say, some things never change: like Lori's love for children and passion for serving others.

Lori in lift at Mary Free Bed

Now, the woman who has helped so many is finally accepting a little help of her own.

"I can't believe [it],  every day he (Dave Hastings) comes in with a stack [of cards]," Lori said. "Oh, my gosh, people are so kind a little card, a note, a phone call, people have reached out and ask what can I do."

'What can I do' is normally a question Lori is asking others through her non-profit, Lori's Voice, which provides equipment, educational resources and medical assistance to children with neuromuscular, degenerative diseases and mobility issues.

"It’s hard for me to ask for help, but I know it's a grace to be able to receive it so I’m going to take it," Lori said.

Since the crash, Lori has been in a lot of pain and has undergone a lot of therapy. Sarah Battjes, a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed said Lori is making great progress and that her pain is improving. Battjes is one of many therapists training Lori and Dave on how to get Lori in her wheelchair with a lift.

Despite having a stabilizer from her left hip down, Lori is still finding a way to give back.

" [There are] so many rewards, so much love so many hugs from kids. We've made so many friendships over the years from awesome families that we would have never met," Lori said.

Ali Pummel-Stone is one of four kiddos that have visited Lori at Mary Free Bed. Ali was diagnosed with AMC when she was born, which impacts her joints, and has had 17 surgeries ever since. Lori's Voice helped Ali throughout the years, the organization even helped get Ali a handicap-accessible van.

Ali Pummel-Stone with Dave Hastings

"They’ve helped us get through so much," Ali said. Now, the high-spirited 10-year-old is giving her time, making sure Lori isn't alone as she recovers from this crash.

"She feels like part of my family I want her to be okay I want to go visit her I want to make sure she's okay I want to make sure she's not 100% damaged and I wanted to make sure she got better as soon as possible," Ali said.

"It’s happy tears, yeah," Lori said, adding that she's grateful for the people at Mary Free Bed, but she's ready to go home.

"We are going to have a new normal there’s going to help come into the home to help Dave care for me and it's going to be a new normal," Lori said in tears.

Lori left Mary Free Bed on Wednesday and is continuing physical therapy and occupational therapy at home. She has a hospital bed in her living room with an in-home caregiver.

If you're interested in helping Lori's Voice, you can attend their annual Walk for the Challenged event which is taking place June 16th at Berlin Raceway.

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