John Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down, The Underground History of American Education, and many other titles, suffered a stroke about 18 months ago that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. He has been struggling through rehab and is slowly but surely getting better. Barb Lundgren, founder of the Rethinking Everything conference, has created a fundraising website to help with John Taylor Gatto’s ongoing medical and living expenses. When you use the Paypal donate button there your donation will go directly to John’s medical fund account.
John and Janet weathered Hurricane Sandy in their Manhattan apartment, and John is showing significant improvement though he still has a long way to go.
John’s vocal chords were paralyzed but he has been working a lot at speaking and he is becoming much easier to understand. His mind is still quite active and he is thinking about life and education constantly. When my wife and I visited him in August he spent more than an hour with me talking about Ben Franklin’s ideas about the hand–mind connection for learning, as well as his thoughts on the political situation for homeschoolers. He is, of course, depressed by his physical condition but has lately found new determination to keep with his exercise/rehab regimen and he is now able to sit at a desk and write for about three hours, which gives him (and us!) great hope.
Barb Lundgren is the point of contact for people who want to help with some of John’s nonfinancial needs, too. In particular, the Gattos are seeking someone in the New York area who has a van that can accept a wheelchair so John can get to his dentist and doctor appointments in Manhattan; eventually, John would like to take a trip to see his garlic farm in upstate New York.
John and Janet also need help to negotiate the medical care system in New York City and if anyone is willing to help them as a sort of “medical advocate” it would be greatly appreciated. Please keep John and Janet in your hearts and minds as the holiday season begins.