Student in ongoing battle over accessibility

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Robert "Charlie" Shivley

Robert “Charlie” Shivley

By Richard Montemayor

rmontemayor15@student.alamo.edu

Theology sophomore Robert “Charlie” Shivley 59, is battling kidney disease alongside his wife Sherrie Shivley, who is also attending this college as her husband’s caretaker.

Charlie Shivley has been on a kidney transplant waiting list since he was diagnosed in 2005.

He said he lost sight in both eyes, and on May 19 of this year, his left foot had to be amputated because of diabetes. He receives daily kidney dialysis treatment.

With his wife’s help, Charlie Shivley uses a wheelchair to get around campus.

Sherrie Shivley said she is having trouble getting him from building to building. “If you go over to the Chance (Academic Center) building and go to the disability entrance, that’s down the slope,” she said. “There is now finally an orange cone there because there is a separation between the bricks. If a blind person were to come along with a cane, they would be the first person on the floor.”

Another spot on campus needing to be fixed is a handicap ramp on the east side of Moody Learning Center that leads to Parking Lot 16.

Sherrie Shivley said the ground below the ramp is clearly visible through a crack on both sides.

“Two semesters ago is when we first noticed it and it just keeps getting bigger. They’ve tried to Band-Aid it… and it just keeps getting wider, and eventually, someone is going to get hurt,” Sherrie Shivley said.

She said she has brought these problems to the attention of the college, but nothing has been done. Sherrie Shivley said every time she sees an article in The Ranger that shows funds being used inappropriately at this college, her blood boils.

“I call the president’s office and I say ‘justify it, I need to know what the justification is for spending $1.5 million to redo a floor in a building,’” she said.

In an Oct. 26 story The Ranger reported on remodeling of the third floor of Fletcher Administration Center. Funds were used that were not designated from the budget, she said.

“They are remodeling the third floor, but they’re using funds that were not designated from last year’s budget; only $250,000 worth of money to do that remodeling came from this year’s budget. The rest came from undesignated funds,” Sherrie Shivley said.

President Robert Vela was unavailable for comment. His administrative assistant, Janet Lozano, said Vela is doing everything he can to fix the problems with accessibility around this college.

“We are on top of it, every issue that they brought up, they are being covered. They are being taken care of,” Lozano said.

The Shivleys have a Dec. 2 appointment to meet with Vela and Lisa Alcorta, interim vice president for student success.“Lively Shively,” as he is called, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990. By 1998 Shivley was having trouble seeing, and in 2005 he completely lost his sight.

“I didn’t take diabetes seriously until I lost my sight,” Shivley said.

Three months later, Shivley’s kidneys shut down, forcing them to be removed and putting him on dialysis. Soon after, Shivley’s heart started to give in, which led to an open-heart surgery and a double bypass. A pacemaker was inserted in 2008.

Shivley and his wife had been fighting the effects of diabetes on his feet, but hyperbaric treatment and wound care, Charlie Shively had to get his foot amputated.

“We worked on my foot for six years before it was taken away,” Charlie said.

V. G. Garlisi contributed to this story.

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