(Millington) She survived a serial killer and now is up against something else: mounting medical bills. Six months ago Barbara Wooten got a new heart. She is praying people in the community open their hearts to her.
It would be hard on anyone’s heart losing your soul mate and husband of 32 years.
“I miss him,” said Wooten. “I miss him a lot.”
Wooten survived the attack that took her husband’s life. He was murdered by Dexter Cox who went on a killing spree in 2007, killing three people including a police lieutenant.
“He shot him and killed him and then when he seen me, he shot me,” said Wooten. “The bullet came out here, my hip cracked and it hit that main nerve in my hip and damaged this left leg.”
She’s been disabled ever since. And that’s not the only thing she’s faced without her husband by her side.
“My heart just kept getting weaker and weaker,” she said.
Just months after the shooting, Barbara found out she had congestive heart failure. Just this past October, doctors gave her the heart transplant she needed, “It’s either live or die and I didn’t want to die.”
But Barbara learned that living can be expensive.
“This one alone is about a thousand dollars a month,” said Wooten holding up a large bottle of pills.
She takes 20 pills a day and her heart transplant alone cost nearly a million dollars. Barbara lives off a disability check of $500 dollars a month.
“That’s why I am asking people to help, so I can pay the doctors and keeping going to the doctors because I’m going to be going to them for the rest of my life.”
While staying alive is expensive and her heart often hurts without her husband, she says she does have reason to live.
“I got an eight year old boy and four year old girl,” she said. “When I see my grandkids, that’s a reason for living.”
To raise money for her, Barbara’s son is going to be washing cars Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oak Court Shell station at 4585 Poplar Ave. Cars will be washed for $5 and any donations will be accepted.
If you can’t make it, you can make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Wooten, by sending a check to NFT Tennessee Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Write “in honor of Barbara Wooten” on the memo line. Secure donations can also be made online at www.transplants.org. Donors should click on “Find an NFT Patient” to locate Wooten.