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Steven Powell

In 2010, Mr. Steven Powell suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm, which ruptured and resulted in a stroke. Mr. Powell continues to experience complications from the stroke, such as cluster headaches and loss of motor skills. Additionally, he is no longer able to work and relies on disability. However, these shortcomings became less significant in his life not long after his experience.

Two years later, Mr. Powell experienced another life-changing event—he became a father. His eight-year-old son, Braxton, and six-year-old daughter, Carmah, mean the world to him. He believes they are “the reason he is alive today” after doctors told him he should have died in 2010.

For the way that he lives out this belief, through advocating for his children’s health coverage, TJC nominates Mr. Steven Powell as a 2020 Father of the Year.

To say things have not been easy for Mr. Powell is probably a grave understatement. The costs from his medical debt forced him out of his home. His wife, the mother of his children, passed away three years ago. And the constant physical pain he experiences every single day would be enough to cause a lot of people to succumb to despair. Yet, Mr. Powell continues to fight.

Mr. Powell continues to share his story. He continues to contact the governor and senators to advocate for his family and others in rural Tennessee to ensure they have access to health insurance. As a single father who is disabled, Mr. Powell knows that he would not be able to provide the coverage that his children need if they were not on TennCare. He feels “it is such a relief to not have to worry about how [he is] going to pay for [his] children’s medical bills.” For these reasons, he continues to make his voice heard. He just hopes that the politicians will understand that he and many others are “doing everything [they] can to survive. . .[they] just need a little help.”

Photo Credit: Laurie Gibbs

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