Like far too many veterans returning home after sacrificing their best years to serve their country, John Lochlan became homeless. While living on the streets, the Navy veteran was shot and stuck by a car leaving his back severely damaged. His legs became so infected he struggled to move from his wheelchair.
“Basically I would get up every morning, well I wouldn’t get up, I would just wake up in my wheelchair, wheel to the corner, and panhandle, that was my days, that was all I did,” Lochlan told reporters.
Lochlan had all but given up on society and had virtually no reason to carry on, until he met Lolly Galvin. Founder of the Dignity Project, Galvin offered a free haircut and basic hygiene supplies to the homeless. When they first met, Lochlan refused Galvin’s offer for a free haircut. She returned two weeks later he agreed to her offer, but was still distant and curt.
Galvin refused to give up on Lochlan, and returned to visit him week after week. She soon noticed the infection on his legs was starting to become more severe. Knowing he would die without medical attention, Galvin pressured Lochlan to find treatment. “I have never seen someone on the streets in the condition he was in,” she told reporters.
Something about their relationship had given Lochlan a spark of hope, and he agreed to get treatment. Together Galvin and Lochlan went to the hospital. Galvin stayed by his side while he received treatment for his legs, but didn’t stop there. She continued to support him as he sought additional surgeries for his broken spine. Over time Lochlan regained the ability to walk.
Hear more about their story in the video below.
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