Ed Baker has gone through enough already.
The 53-year-old Dolton native spent 22 years in the Navy, serving in the Persian Gulf War before eventually retiring as a lieutenant commander. Then, four years ago, he suffered a major stroke that left the left side of his body paralyzed.
Now, all he wants is to come home from Colorado to his family in Illinois. And family members in Midlothian and New Lenox want that, too.
But Baker can’t. He can’t go anywhere, in fact. He hasn’t been free to make such decisions since almost two years ago, when a judge in Colorado — based on Baker’s condition after his stroke — approved a petition by the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services to appoint a guardian and conservator for him. The decision made Baker a ward of the state of Colorado and stripped him of many of his rights.
Baker now is a resident of the Sierra Healthcare Community nursing home in Lakewood, Colo. — apparently against his will. This despite the fact the Colorado Department of Veterans Affairs declared in January that Baker is competent to make personal decisions and handle the VA funds to which he is entitled, such as his monthly pension checks.
“I just want to be free,” Baker said during a telephone interview with the SouthtownStar earlier this month. “If I was in jail or if I did something wrong, I understand. But I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Full Article and Source:
Veteran Caught in Web After Stroke: "I just want to be free."