Faces of Flint: Disabled man living through water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Faces of Flint: Disabled man living through water crisis

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

While most of the national attention has shifted away from Flint, the problems plaguing the city have become no less pronounced.

Longtime Flint resident Hervis Gibbs has lived on Sterling Street for many years. The street was populated with vacant homes long before the water crisis crippled the city.

A recent stroke makes getting out of bed a daily challenge for Gibbs.

"By me being disabled and having to be in a wheelchair, moving around, it's OK. But I would like to have more mobility, but we're dealing with it and washing with the water," Gibbs said.

Agencies like the Red Cross has made living through the water crisis easier for Gibbs. They deliver cases of bottled water to the 67-year-old's home every week.

While Gibbs was in rehab after the stroke, the Disability Network installed a wheelchair accessible ramp.

"I had no money to do it on my own, but they did and I appreciate that," Gibbs said.

Gibbs uses water filters that were donated and installed by a church, but still worries about the long term health effects of drinking the water.

"Well, it's been kind of hectic for all of us because we didn't know the effect it would have on humans in drinking the water before we filtered it. And we still don't know the effect it has on us now after finding out about it," Gibbs said.

Gibbs' doctor checks for lead levels and hasn't found an issue yet, but that doesn't mean he is in the clear.

"When it's already in your system, what effect does this have on you as a person by it being in your system? And how long will it stay in your system? And what can you do to get it out of your system after drinking the water all this time before it all came out and it was filtered," Gibbs said.

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