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Wish List 2017: Bedbug infestation isolates Davenport man

Wish List 2017: Bedbug infestation isolates Davenport man

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At the Handicapped Development Center, David Brown is a regular.

The 53-year-old Davenport man has been a client for years. He's known for singing Johnny Cash tunes at karaoke sessions. And he packages parts in HDC's sheltered workshop that are used by Deere & Co.

The center is a big part of his life.

"He loves it," said Lena Brown, his mother.

Unfortunately, David hasn't been able to go to HDC since late July, because of a bedbug infestation at his home in west-central Davenport.

The Handicapped Development Center has a policy that is aimed at protecting all its clients. And Amber Williams, his case manager, said if the organization becomes aware of an incident, it has to limit participation in its programs.

Unfortunately, the result for Brown has been that, since July, he's been largely confined to home.

His mother, who has health problems, said that he's not really been able to get out of the house much since July. Occasionally, he'll walk his dog, BJ. Otherwise, he's been watching daytime television and stays at home.

"There's nowhere to go," said Lena Brown.

Officials at HDC would like to see him come back. It was Williams, his case manager, who nominated David for the Quad-City Times Wish List program. "He's very sweet," she said.

Some of David's friends at HDC have been asking about him, too.

Social isolation has long been been an obstacle for people who have disabilities. And HDC provides an outlet for Brown. He said he misses his friends and his boss in the workshop.

Working is important. David usually gets up shortly after 5 a.m., so that he's ready for his ride, which arrives at 6:30 a.m.

He not only works, but also attends day habilitation, which offers people the chance to socialize and get out in the community, like trips to parks and libraries.

Once in a while, he's attended a Quad-Cities River Bandits baseball game. On a recent afternoon, he wore a River Bandits T-shirt, and team memorabilia occupy shelves in his home.

Then, there's karaoke. David said Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard are his favorites.

The infestation at his home has been a difficult problem, though. The Browns took out a loan from extended family to treat the house at a cost of more than $2,000 last year, Williams said.

However, there still are bedbugs, along with other pests.

In this instance, Tony Arguello, at Ace Pest Control, recently inspected the home and provided a discounted price for extermination. The service will be paid with proceeds remaining from last year's Wish List program. (The Quad-City Times keeps a small reserve fund at the end of each year for Wish List requests considered emergencies). The Browns also required new beds and living room chairs, given the extent of the infestation.

David is a previous Wish List recipient. In 2011, Williams sought help to get some new clothes, when she noticed some weren't fitting well. Lena said she is grateful for the assistance. And David said he is eager to get back to work.

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