(Photo: Jason Scott/WWJ)

Teacher Who Lost Arms, Legs In Freak Incident Gets Charity Renovation Before Heading Back Into Classroom

Glover's Heroes spread energy across the region Wednesday.

August 22, 2018 - 4:05 pm

(WWJ) A freak accident, an act of God, the worst kind of luck -- call it what you will -- but when it was over, James Newsome had lost all four of his limbs to gangrene. It happened in January, and he's not exactly sure why.

He knows he suddently developed a raging infection that turned into septic shock .... And doctors had to remove his limbs to save his life. 

Now in a wheelchair, Newsome is returning to independence with the help of the community. 

The 40-year-old is getting a redesigned bathroom, an essential element for a formerly healthy man who can't stand to need constant help. The remodeling comes courtesy of Jeff Glover and his Glover's Heroes program.

"There's no bigger goal or priority for me than being independent in the bathroom," Newsome told WWJ's Jason Scott. "It's a humbling experience to have to go through what I did. I've always been a fiercely independent person." 

He describes the remodeling as something that allows him to get back to being himself.

In fact, he's planning to return to the classroom as a teacher at Randall Elementary School in the Taylor School District as soon as he can, possibl as soon as next fall. "I'll be able to work with some accommodations," he said.

Newsome credits his family with helping him pull through a situation that could have felled someone with less fortitude.

"I have a wonderful support system, my wife is amazing, my mom and my dad, my in-laws. Everyone has been so great," he said.

Glover’s Heroes is a foundation that gives back to local veterans, teachers, firefighters, EMTs, caregivers, nurses and police in the community.

Glover’s Heroes volunteers hosted a community giveback day Wednesday to donate the funds raised the last two years.  

Recipients included:

  • Newsome is getting a renovated bathroom that will become wheelchair accessible. Demolition began Wednesday.  
  •  Dale Wilste, a Milford volunteer firefighter for over 15 years, will get a new roof. In 1987 he remained in a burning home too long resulting in multiple severe burns. Since this event, he has battled multiple health issues which does not allow him to properly maintain his home. 
  •  Sharon Aalderink, a Jenison school teacher and breast cancer survivor, will get extensive landscaping including deck improvements, porch repair and a few other exterior maintenance items that she is no longer able to complete herself.  
  •  The Disabled American Veterans/Veteran Charity Services warehouse in Ferndale, which is getting an exterior and interior clean up. The DAV is a 501c3 foundation that hosts not for profit thrift stores benefiting veterans. Volunteers will be removing brush, pulling weeds, completing landscaping, organizing interior items, painting, etc. to bring the warehouse back up to par before opening the doors to veteran workers. This warehouse houses the items that are sold in thrift stores across the state benefiting local veterans. 

 Glover’s Heroes is funded by donations from Jeff Glover & Associates Realtors and clients as well as through their charity golf outing each year.