Shocking news from Cleveland, in today's Plain Dealer ...
But Bowen is a prisoner - a prisoner in the living room of her public-hous ing apartment on Cleveland's East Side be cause the 44-year-old weighs nearly 800 pounds and is immobile.
Under federal law, her condition is a disability, meaning that she can require modifications to her subsidized housing.
Housing officials responded that the agency went well beyond what federal disability law requires at a cost of about $15,000.
Drooping fatty tissue from her stomach area extends from her body and prevents her from walking, she and Turner say. She cannot move from a medical bed that sits in the middle of what should be her living room. Turner estimates the growth around her stomach weighs as much as 350 pounds.
The apartment's modifications include taking out doors and walls, installing an automatic door operator and a panic device, demolishing the existing bathroom and installing a special shower, and putting in a sidewalk leading to a front doorway, something the other Riverside Park units do not have.
Things reached a crisis level on Aug. 31, when 22 firefighters and emergency medical technicians had to work for 2½ hours to move Bowen from her apartment so she could see doctors at MetroHealth Medical Center for some dental problems. Emergency crews had to help her back in when she returned.