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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:208
  • eBook ISBN:9781937721053

To Walk With My Brother

A Story of Courage, Humor and Love

by Evelyn Thornton and Michael F. Bisceglia, Jr.

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Wayne Thornton had the misfortune of becoming a paraplegic in the early 1950s, at the age of six. This tragedy became the foundation for a life that transcended the limits such a disability might have imposed. He learned to drive a car, graduated from college and enjoyed a successful career as an accountant until his death in 2011. Supported by the love of a close-knit Southern community, Wayne also inspired others to reach their goals. His eldest sister, Evelyn, shares Wayne’s story with love, humor and celebration. She lets us know just what it was like to walk with her brother.
Wayne Thornton was six years old in 1953 when a shocking case of medical incompetence during a routine office visit left him a paraplegic for life. From that day forward—in an era long before the Americans with Disabilities Act, access ramps to public buildings, or a national culture that even recognized the potential of the handicapped to participate in civic life—Wayne became an involuntary but willing pioneer in changing our expectations and perceptions of the physically disabled. The youngest of four children, in 2011 Wayne became the first to pass away as a result of the serious medical complications and surgeries resulting from a lifetime spent in a wheelchair. His eldest sister, Evelyn Thornton, long known as second-in-command in the Thornton’s rural Mississippi household, has collaborated with accomplished author Michael F. Bisceglia Jr. in capturing Wayne’s remarkable story in the memoir To Walk With My Brother. In addition to telling Wayne’s story, Thornton’s family saga captures the best of small town charity, support and religious faith that imbued lifelong strength to the Thorntons and their community. The story of family patriarch Melvin Thornton being laid to rest with his shirt sleeves rolled up and ready for work is just one of many touching recollections in this remarkable memoir that will leave readers with a new understanding of the rural south.
About the author
Evelyn Thornton, the highly organized oldest child and second in command to Melba, grew up in the rural community of Carthage, Mississippi. After attending Anderson University in Indiana, Evelyn took to the skies, where, for thirty-eight and a half years, she served as a stewardess/flight attendant for US Airways. Evelyn lives in Hampton, New Hampshire, only a mile from the Shore Patio that she and Wayne helped to create. In Shiprock, New Mexico, she is known as a volunteer mother to several generations of Navajo children.