Unlikely friendship helps homeless man get back on his feet

Louis Walker went from homeless to living in an apartment, with some help from Registered Nurse Dale Sayler. Claudia Coco/WGXA News 

MACON, Ga. (WGXA) -- A Macon man found himself homeless a few years ago. Thanks to a dedicated nurse, who works for Healthy Communities at Navicent Health, he was able to get back up on his feet.

"I had this heart failure, and I had to let the job go because I couldn't pick up nothing heavy no more," said Louis Walker. Walker was unemployed with no money coming in, so he lost his apartment because he could no longer pay rent.

"Without a place to stay it's really hard to maintain, take care of yourself," said Walker. Constantly wondering where he was going to stay caused him to fall behind on his medications.

He had no primary care, and no stable living situation. Walker's health deteriorated leading to congestive heart failure, and left him in need of a triple bypass. The surgery led to a new friend who changed his life: Registered Nurse at Navicent Health Dale Sayler. "Evidently since I met her, my life has changed," said Walker.

Sayler works with an organization called Healthy Communities. They help people access all different kinds of living essentials when they're down on their luck. "So I knew for him to get better with his health, he needed a stable place to live," said Sayler.

Walker applied to all the retirement apartments in the area, and was originally told he was going to have to wait a year for an apartment. Sayler kept on Walker to fill out all the paperwork. Sayler made countless calls on his behalf, and her persistence paid off. "And they gave him a piece of paper that said this is your room number, and Louis totally did not get it," said Sayler.

His shock of getting into an apartment, quickly became a feeling of relief. "I'm going to tell you it feels so good. Just having an address to go to," said Walker.

Since then he's gotten a part time job, and he's proud of it. "It feels good to be able to get up in the morning, and go to a job," said Walker.

His stable living situation has afforded him the ability to keep up with his medications and his doctor's appointments. If he ever has questions, Sayler is there to answer them. "I've tried to be there for him, to keep navigating his path," said Sayler.

She said she is proud to have helped a neighbor. "We'll always be close I have a new friend," said Sayler.

Walker admits he's lucky to have someone like Dale Sayler in his life, but he still has some advice for those in similar situations. "You got to get out there and help yourself. There's a lot of resources around, but you got to get out there and ask questions, and do what you got to do," said Walker.

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