Family faces COVID, murder and mound of debt

·2 min read

Dec. 5—LIMA — Putting oneself in Susan's shoes wouldn't be described as easy.

Last June, Steve, the father of her twin sons, was shot to death on a Cleveland street.

"I still don't know the suspect's motive," Susan said.

She relocated to Lima circa 2013, not long after Steve assaulted her in front of relatives — on their boys' 5th birthday, no less.

Those kids are 13 now; Susan also has a young daughter.

Things didn't improve after Steve's murder: She was employed at Lima Manor for four years, doing laundry services, before losing that job due to contracting the coronavirus.

On top of it all, Susan has endured weak lumbar support and needs hip-replacement surgery.

"Although I have Medicaid, I'm waiting to push the procedure to March 2022," she said. "Getting prepared and my kids situated for such a big step takes time."

She applied for the Child Tax credit and Social Security, though Steve didn't earn any federal benefits, let alone insurance.

Under the circumstances of their dad's death, her sons "are doing a little better than I had expected," said Susan. Their most recent memory of Steve involved playing PlayStation together.

When her sons aren't around, Susan requires assistance with everyday tasks.

"The kids try to fix me stuff to eat and help me go to the bathroom," Susan explained, "but I could use help when they're at school."

Mother Nature hasn't done the family any favors.

In lieu of gas, the family uses fuel oil and space heaters to get through the cold winters.

"Problem is, I'm stuck with an old electric bill from Cleveland that's roughly $5,000 now," Susan said.

Since she hasn't been able to work in recent months, the family could do with more clothes. Susan's teenagers wear men's attire, size XL and 2XL, while her daughter is in need of size 7-8 in girls' attire.

In spite of the stress and turmoil that has engulfed Susan, she remains laser-focused on her 2022 goals: undergoing hip surgery and securing Social Security benefits.

Reach James Luksic at 567-242-0399.

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