With Husband Very Ill, Nurse Overwhelmed

With Husband Very Ill, Nurse Overwhelmed

Aubrey Graden, age 3, talks with her grandmother, Holly Gillian L.P.N. at her home in Haines City. ( PIERRE DUCHARME | The Ledger)

Eric Pera / The Ledger

February 01, 2009

HAINES CITY | Holly Gillian rises early most days to sneak a few hours of quiet time in her kitchen, where she can study biology and other subjects to advance her career as an LPN.

Currently a nurse at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, the Haines City woman is seeking the higher-salaried position of RN. She needs the extra income now more than ever.

Gillian’s husband, Lawrence Jones, has been hospitalized often this past year for heart problems and is now a candidate for a transplant. Even with insurance his out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs have taken a heavy toll on family income.

The Ledger’s Newspaper with a Heart program is assisting the couple with their most urgent needs, especially rent, as they endeavor to find a more affordable home for their family that includes two children, ages 15 and 13.

Keeping households intact through tough times is a hallmark of the Heart program, which has provided temporary assistance to thousands of Polk County households over the past 40 years. Donations, which are tax-deductible, are essential to the program and its primary mission of helping families in crisis who have run out of options and need only a short-term fix.

Gillian, 46, and Jones, 45, have even more reason to worry, now that they’ve taken in their oldest daughter, Tiffany Graden, 24, and her four children, ages 2, 3, 4 and 5. Graden needs temporary shelter while awaiting the outcome of aggravated assault and retail theft charges against her husband, Thomas, 24, who is in the Osceola County Jail.

“I’m so grateful to my mom and dad. I don’t know where I’d be (without them),” said Graden, whose $823 in monthly food stamps have greatly assisted the household.

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