Key Takeaways:

Ed said, “GetSetUp has really been a great experience for both Sharon and me. I just love learning about different things. I especially enjoy the business classes.” Now he's planning his next business venture and learning how to make it successful!

Ed’s mother saved his life by giving him CPR in 1990 when he was pinned under a car after a near-fatal accident in New York City. Ed’s mother, a registered nurse who worked with babies at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, knew that faint pulses do exist and did everything to assure her son survived until the paramedics arrived. Ed arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest and was in a vegetative coma for a month. He spent 9 months at 3 different hospitals and during that time his mother Carolyn and his older sister Loretta were instrumental to his care and well-being.

After nine months in the hospital, and doctors giving him no hope of recovery, Ed was able to leave in a wheelchair and live with his mother. After living with his mother for three months, Ed was determined to take control of his own life, and he moved to Brooklyn, New York—leaving his wheelchair behind and using just a cane. He walked away from that accident with his life, but was considered legally blind thereafter, along with other physical and cognitive challenges.

Six months after getting his own place — more than a year after his accident — Ed left Brooklyn for Georgia and continued with his recovery.

“The accident was terrible but the most important thing about it was, it drew me closer to God and spirituality. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to go back to school on a Hope Grant and Scholarship.”

Ed continued to grow in spirituality and was determined to take control of his life and pursue a viable future. Ed is one of the last people to stay down in a tough situation. He knew he had to do something to keep his mind sharp.

“You know your brain turns to mush if you don’t use it like everything else!”

Before his accident, Ed worked as a site manager for a facilities management company that serviced law firms and investment banks. He had received his GED at age 17, and after his accident, Ed finally decided to go back to school and took up general studies at an adult education center. His instructors at the adult education center discovered he had a gift with numbers and encouraged him to apply to a local community college. He applied to a technical college in 2002. Ed decided to use his work experience as a platform and chose to study banking, finance and business management. He was inducted into the International Honor Society in 2007. In 2009, Ed’s hard work and dedication earned him the titles Honor Scholar and Laureate Scholar. Ed was also admitted to the National Dean’s List and was named Regional Vice President of the Southeastern Regional International Honor Society.

“I don’t consider myself OCD, but my grandmother Polly always stressed to do things right and to do my best. So, I strive for perfection. My whole goal is to have my own business one day.”

In 2014, when a tree fell into Ed’s house, it seemed like a sign for another change in his course of life. He opted then to move down to Florida to be near his mother, who is a dancer for the Miami Heat Golden Oldies, which is where he met his neighbor and friend Sharon, who is also a dancer.

May 23, 2022
Community Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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