How did it start?
The idea began when we underwent a life-changing experience by taking care of Joe’s father, Walter, after he had become paraplegic at the age of 77. Up until that time we had both enjoyed careers as journalists for national media outlets and had not thought much about things beyond that level.
When Joe’s father became paralyzed, his mind was still sharp and the challenge facing us was how to get him the help he needed, while still making sure he had his own life and didn’t lose the will to live.
five years we worked on things neither of us had ever dreamed about. We
got Dad situated in an assisted living facility near our
During that period, we also managed to get Dad to our Outer Banks house for what turned out to be the last two vacations of his life. Up until then, we had largely viewed the house as a nice getaway, a good investment and a way to earn rental income. That view started to change over the years, especially with those two trips. Dad so enjoyed visiting the ocean despite his wheelchair that we began to see the house in a special light.
Our outlook changed for good while we all were still trying to recover from the horror of
Various complicating medical conditions and the frustration of dealing with the health care system often put us at the end of our rope. It was then that the beach house became a refuge for us as it had never been before.
During those 15 months we were only able to get to the house on rare occasions – and only for very brief periods because of the attention that Dad needed. However, each visit helped clear our heads and gave us the energy to continue the fight back at home.
After Dad died on
What has resulted is the Joanna Project.
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