Man Leaves House For First Time In 6 Years

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Rodney Bice has been bedridden for the last six years after a severe stroke. His only interaction with the world outside his bed occurs when he turns on the television.

A self-described "news freak," Bice wanted to be able to read the banner headlines on the bottom of the television set, but with his deteriorating eyesight this was fast becoming impossible.

Bice's case manager from Arizona Palliative Care Management, Kathy Hughes, made it her priority to see that Bice was examined and fitted with the glasses he needed.

"The resources that are available to the elderly can be confusing," Hughes said. "I contacted George Spears of the Payson Lions Club. He reviewed the application for assistance and took the necessary funding paperwork to Dr. Christian Risser's office."

Then the real challenge began. Free glasses mean little to a man who cannot leave his house for the eye exam.

Bice's son Ross was recovering from shoulder surgery and was unable to get his father down the stairs of his two-story house.

Again, Hughes got on the phone, sure there was a way to help him. She contacted Monica Savage, administrative secretary at the Payson Fire Department, and asked for invalid assistance for Bice.

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Rodney Bice was transported to the eye doctor, his first trip out of the house in years.

Harvey Pelovsky, administrator for Rim Country Health and Retirement Community, scheduled his driver, Steve Beckwith, to pick up Bice at his home and transport him to the eye doctor's office in a wheelchair-accessible van.

Several hours later, Bice returned home with new glasses.

"What a wonderful community we live in that so many people would give of their time to make my life easier. It's incredible," Bice said.

"I just want people to realize if we work together as a community we can do wonderful things," Hughes said.

Now that Bice has his glasses, she hopes to arrange for a ride so he can see the changes that have taken place in Payson over the past six years.

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