Patty Bowers has lost a leg, but she is determined to get back on both feet very soon.
Her name may not be familiar, but if you’ve spent much time around downtown Columbus you might recognize her as the hot dog lady outside the old City Market on Broadway or the assistant manager of Ruth Ann’s Restaurant.
Life is never easy for a 35-year-old single mom, but she and 16-year-old Xavier always squeaked by until this past spring, when Patty was diagnosed with an unusual vascular problem that led to the amputation of her right leg.
Losing her leg was traumatic physically, emotionally and financially, and limping through the health care maze did little to boost her deflated spirits.
Roadblocks were everywhere. She couldn’t qualify for temporary disability because she intends to go back to work. She wasn’t eligible for unemployment because she isn’t able to work right now.
Ultimately, she became eligible for Medicare but, before that assistance kicked in, she had accrued an expensive stack of medical bills.
The system was depressing her, but friends renewed her faith. A prosthetic leg was donated. A crew of workers is installing ramps and other devices that will make her mobile home ready for her return.
Fresh out of physical rehab, her former boss and longtime friend Lisa Kean invited Patty to move into her home. Lisa is the general manager of Ruth Ann’s, a landmark downtown restaurant. She and Patty worked together for two years, and their friendship goes back almost a decade.
Lisa, her sister Mary and the staff at Ruth Ann’s are making it possible for others to help Patty Bowers. They’re having a spaghetti dinner from 6-9 p.m. Monday night at the restaurant, 941 Veterans Parkway. The cost is $10, and proceeds will help Patty and her son survive until she is able to work again.
During the dinner there will also be raffles and giveaways. Donations of gas, restaurant and grocery cards will also be appreciated.
“People donate to worthwhile causes but are never able to see the results,” Lisa said. “You will see the results Monday night.”
Response has been amazing, and the giving staff at Ruth Ann’s hopes at least 200 people will show up for dinner. Their goal is $10,000, Lisa said.
“We’re ready to knock it out of the park.”
Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.