Deputies bring relief to woman who has known little
December 30, 2004
When her estranged husband pawned her electric wheelchair, it was just the latest in a barrage of emotional spears hurled into Kathleen Marquez’s already ailing back.
Marquez, who has chronic back and neck problems, which leave her virtually paralyzed and in constant, excruciating pain, called the pawn shop, but didn’t have the $200 required to get the chair out of hock.
Then she called the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, but since Nevada is a community property state, there was no legal recourse for the police.
Deputy Mark Jongsma and Sgt. Scott Davis went to Sheriff Kenny Furlong.
“The deputies had come across a bad situation and they felt a lot of frustration, so they took the initiative upon themselves,” said Furlong.
In cooperation with the Sheriff’s Protective Association and the Sheriff’s Supervisor Association, two unions that represent officers, the deputies came up with the money – out of their own pockets – to spring Marquez’s wheelchair.
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They delivered it to a thankful Marquez.
Lying in a hot bedroom in her hospital-style bed, a lifeline amulet around her neck and a pillow between her knees, Marquez expressed gratitude, every word seeming to come from a bottomless well of pain, a well that oxycodone, three shots of Demerol and trigger-point injections can’t seem to palliate.
“God bless the sheriff’s department,” she said. “I had faith in them and this community. I never lost hope.”
“It allows her at least some independence to live her life,” said Furlong.
“The deputies see this far too often, where resources are too limited or agencies are unable to do anything,” he added. “This was one of those examples. I’m really proud of those guys.”
Marquez says that with her wheelchair back, she can go to church. She says her friend pharmacist Kirk Wentworth has already volunteered to drive her.
“Just give me 10 more years, Lord,” she said, beholding the crucifix above her bed. “Ten more years.”
Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.