Truman Smith Parent Urges Temporary Building - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/26/04-Longview

Truman Smith Parent Urges Temporary Building

An Oklahoma woman is making an urgent plea to provide a building for patients displaced by an East Texas fire. For Oklahoma native Karen Smith, repairs to Gladewaters' "Truman Smith care center", damaged by fire on Monday, can't come fast enough. Her son Jason has been a patient there for 15 years.

"The longer they wait the more stressed the staff and the kids get, it's like you're on a trip and you're out of your environment, your element, and you feel lost," Smith says.

Although she's thankful that so many nursing homes made room for the patients on short notice, she says it's essential to get patients like Jason back to normal and back in the company of his fellow patients.

"It's family, Jason and his roommate Brian neither of them talk, but they know that each other is there," says Smith.

The patients remain spread out among several facilities, and Smith is concerned that the care of patients suffers by not having them all on one location.

"Most of the kids have respirators where they have to be suctioned quite often," says Smith who just wants her son and all the other patients to have the best care they can.

"I know Jason in the best care that he could ever have and ever will have," she says.

Smith's son is being cared for in a Gilmer area nursing home for now.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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