Confront Dementia And Guns

Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns
FlaglerLive | July 1, 2018
Verg holds a .38-caliber revolver.
“Guns have been a big part of our lives,”
says Verg,
who got her first rifle at age 12.
(Heidi de Marco, KHN)
With a bullet in her gut,
her voice choked with pain,
Dee Hill pleaded with the 911 dispatcher for help.
“My husband accidentally shot me,”
Hill, 75, of The Dalles, Ore., groaned on the May 16, 2015, call.
“In the stomach, and he can’t talk, please …”
Less than four feet away, Hill’s husband, Darrell Hill,
a former local police chief and two-term county sheriff,
sat in his wheelchair with a discharged Glock handgun
on the table in front of him, unaware that he’d nearly killed his wife of almost 57 years.
The 76-year-old lawman had been diagnosed two years earlier with a form of rapidly progressive dementia,
a disease that quickly stripped him of reasoning and memory.
“He didn’t understand,”
said Dee,
who needed 30 pints of blood, three surgeries and seven weeks in the hospital to survive her injuries.