HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A local multi-millionaire continues to help struggling families get back on their feet - by offering to pay for one thing that would turn their lives around.
Today, it's a decorated paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne. He lives on disability and had a simple wish: to get a good night's sleep and not wake up in excruciating pain.
At first glance, Ben Hatcher looks like a strapping, healthy guy - but he's not. Every morning when he crawls out of bed, he awakes to a new level in pain...part of the reason was the old bed he'd been sleeping on, but the main problem is his back.
During his military career, Sgt. Ben Hatcher was a para-trooper with the 82nd Airborne, serving tours of duty in places like Afghanistan and Romania, even jumping from planes in sub-freezing weather in Alaska. In February 2011, a jump there would end his military career.
Ben caught some ice upon landing, during a night-time jump. He hit hard, and at a funny angle. The result was several ruptured and herniated discs in his neck and back.
"I had to have C-spine surgery, so they had to remove the disc, and once they did that, they put metal hardware in there and a cadaver bone, Actually, I had to have two surgeries," said Hatcher.
Ben acted on the advice of his girlfriend and contacted the Secret Samaritan, to possibly help with a specially designed, adjustable bed that he needed to help ease his pain.
"The memory foam helps relieve pressure on their joints and stuff like that," said Adam Yarbrough with Mattress Warehouse. "Also, with him having sleep apnea, the adjustable base will help him sleep better, will help with the breathing."
Ben is a proud and humble man who to this day, lives by a code he learned in the military. He's accustomed to helping others, and being on the receiving end makes him uncomfortable. But he makes no bones about it - this bed, at over $2,000, was out of his reach. He's very grateful for the Secret Samaritan.
"One shot, what he did would have taken me 12 to 13, 14 months to save up for. After all the bills are paid, and food, it's very slim pickings left of my disability," said Hatcher.
If there's one thing that could turn your life around, but you don't have the money - contact us with your story. Just go to the NBC12 News app and look for "Secret Samaritan."
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