Last week I wrote about the five-year anniversary of a brutal anti-gay hate crime near the Cedar Springs strip. Since then the victim of the crime, Jimmy Lee Dean, has launched an IndieGoGo fundraising page to help pay his medical expenses. Dean says he still needs reconstructive facial surgery that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars — but he may be able to have it done for less overseas. He blames surgeons at Parkland hospital for failing to help, and he says he’s been unable to qualify for Social Security disability. From the IndieGoGo page:
On July 17, 2008 I was the victim of a hate crime in Dallas, Texas. Through the kind act of everyday people like you, I did not die that night. The criminals were stopped, prosecuted and the good people of Texas provided $50,000 from their crime victims fund to repair my physical damages and any psychological help that might be needed.
Problems started when I left Parkland County Hospital intensive care unit. Up to that point everything seemed to be going OK. Then after some 16 visits to the Oral Surgery Clinic, 2 surgeries and one attempted surgery that never took place and 27 visits to Parkland crisis center I am in the same physical situation as at the crime scene.
Work done in the second surgery at Parkland Hospital has all come undone. My jaw and cheek bone are no longer attached. Teeth have never been dealt with. No one has followed up on my broken back. I have headaches every other day. My eyes are having problems. I walk with a cautious gate. I get lightheaded all the time. I don’t really go anywhere because of the facial disfigurements and the way I look when I eat.
I never asked for what happened. It could have been any one of us at that spot at that time.
My dreams and identity are gone along with my ability to smell, but maybe there are medical procedures that might restore me to a point where I can have some kind of a normal life.
The page also features a TV news report about the hate crime that aired a few weeks afterward. To contribute to Dean’s expenses, go here.