Housing authority addresses needs of resident after electrical shock leaves her paralyzed

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte woman said she was permanently paralyzed after getting shocked inside her west Charlotte apartment.

Haley Meeks said it is difficult to navigate around her home in a wheelchair and the housing authority that supervises her complex is addressing her issues.

Meeks said on Christmas Day water coming from the walls flooded her apartment.

“We literally lost everything in this apartment,” Meeks said. “Everything. Christmas presents. Everything.”

She called first responders and asked for help.

“One of the guys came into my son’s room and was touching the walls,” she told Channel 9. “It was basically that he didn’t see any water coming from the walls or anything, and for me to unplug my son’s TV from the wall.”

Meeks pulled the cord from the wall and got shocked leaving her left arm and leg numb.

“I have burn marks over my body on the left side on the right side,” Meeks said. “So, I was burned pretty bad with no mobility to my left side.”

Meeks suffered an electrical burn, according to her medical reports. She was hospitalized then discharged and uses a wheelchair now.

Meeks said Inlivian, the public housing agency that oversees her complex, put her in a hotel while repairs were made.

Inlivian initially covered the hotel expenses for over a month until last week.

“Last Thursday, they said they weren’t going to pay for the hotel because my apartment was wheelchair accessible,” Meeks said.

She said it is still hard to move around the apartment.

“I can’t get on the doorstep,” Meeks said.

Cheron Porter with Inlivian said on Jan. 10 Meeks made a request to transfer to another unit due to her disability.

However, the request was denied due to a lack of documentation to support it.

“Just yesterday, we found out that she’d like some other modifications to the unit,” Porter said. “Now that she’s recently found out that she will be permanently in a wheelchair, we’ve been acting immediately to address those concerns.”

Porter said Meek’s hotel expenses will be covered.

“We’re going to extend her now that we have that information,” Porter said. “And now we understand kind of more of the depth of her needs. We’re going to extend the hotel stay.”

Porter said Inlivian also replaced the carpet in one bedroom.

Nevertheless, Meeks hired an attorney to help her navigate the situation.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Meeks contacted maintenance, when she actually contacted first responders about the water in her apartment. That has since been corrected and we apologize for the error.

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Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV