Local non-profit helps man faced with disabilities after life-altering car crash

For Manny Holmes, a life-altering car crash changed his life forever, but with the help of a local non-profit he is getting better. 

Manny's mother, Francine Holmes, said she received the call on February 23 when he was in a severe car crash. Manny was on his way into the jail where he works as a correctional officer.

"Very dark night," Francine said. "And for some reason, him and the other correctional officer collided into each other." 

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Manny had a traumatic brain injury, a shattered pelvis and a broken right hip, Francine said. He also had all broken ribs that caused lacerations to his lungs, intestines and liver. Francine said her son was on life support fighting for his life. 

"So they had to rush him into surgery, and they told us he probably wouldn't make the night,"  Francine said. 

Manny eventually made it home after much suffering. His mom said when he first came home, they had the option of putting him in rehab, but she wanted to take care of her son no matter what. 

"We didn't realize that things from insurance companies weren't just given to you, no matter how much you paid your insurance premiums," Francine said. 

Manny, was having a hard time getting the equipment he needed for his rehabilitation from his insurance company. That all changed after he contacted the Disability Achievement Center, which is the center of independent living that serves Pinellas and Pasco counties.

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Jody Armstrong, the director of outreach for the Disability Achievement Center, said they are a resource center that offers services to keep those with disabilities safe and independent. 

They provided Manny with a trapeze and wheelchair for free, but that's not all they do. 

"We teach people how to live independently, whether banking, whether it's budgeting, whether it's shopping, whether it's how to get along with a roommate. All those pieces and parts," Armstrong said. 

The Disability Achievement Center provides important life skills for those with disabilities. The center has been helping families since 1992.