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Russell’s Story

On May 24, 2007, I accidentally ran a stop sign while drinking and driving causing the death of two beautiful people. At the time of this senseless crime, I received numerous serious injuries to many areas of my body. Between this time and May 3, 2008, when arriving to the MDOC, I went back and forth from county jail to the hospital for the medical process of putting my body back together.

On May 3, 2008, I arrived at the Department of Corrections for punishment for my crimes. While incarcerated in the MDOC, I repeatedly have requested to see doctors to complete the last stage of the medical process started on the night of this horrible accident. Four doctors made the medical decision to save my leg rather than cutting it off. Now for the past four years, the MDOC doctors have made the decision to have me live in this condition rather than finish the process. My right knee injury has caused limited mobility, limited activity, caused injuries to other parts of my body, mental anguish from the constant pain day and night, and most of all I’ve suffered greatly from this knee going unfixed and it’s only getting worse. All movements are way of crutches and still causes pain.

I quickly stopped feeling sorry for myself and made the most important decision in my life. I turned all my frustration, pain, and suffering into fuel for my passion to change my life and most of all, educate myself. I’ve come to realize how my choices in life affect or cause someone else pain and suffering. Maybe I can make a difference in someone else’s life or just make them realize how a poor decision can affect others.

On January 26, 2012, I was informed that knee surgery had been approved and that it would be performed soon. As I reflect on the years that I have struggled, I look at all I have learned, patience and the art of being humble in times of adversity. It is still a daily struggle but the understanding that I have gained through this time is priceless. I have learned how to speak, write, and read Spanish; as well, I have greatly improved my English grammar and vocabulary. I am excited because all there is left for me to learn! Studying is a big part of my life as I spend these days away from family and friends. At the end of my punishment, I want to be the best man I can be and in this time of punishment for a horrible accident to be able to give back to the community and the victim’s families.

This is my short story of my little victories. Also I want to give thanks to the small army of family and friends who have given me the support that I have needed to achieve my goals and most of all survive through the most difficult times of my life.

– Russell Dunham

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