Man blames wife's suicide in part on Ike

November 20, 2008 8:57:21 PM PST
Texas Governor Rick Perry said Thursday that the federal response to Hurricane Ike is slow. But he's not the only one. Enter one Houston man who says the road to recovery has been especially hard. The aftermath of Ike has taken a toll on both him and his family. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Garson Silvers sits outside a soul-less house. His wife of eight years, Barbara, is no longer here and while it pains him to tell the story, he says he must.

"Everyone's life she touched, she made better," said Garson. "I want my wife back, my partner, my lover, the mother of my kids."

The Silvers own the El Lago Marina. It was their main source of income before the storm. It now sits in shambles. Hurricane Ike was not kind there.

"It looks like a disaster zone," said Garson. "Nothing's changed."

Seventeen days after the storm, the Silvers applied to the Small Business Administration for a loan. They were told they'd have an answer in 21 days. It's been 51.

"And we still have no answer," Garson told us.

Barbara was the worrier.

"Every day, she was stressed out about how are we going to pay our bills? We just can't live on credit cards."

Until last Thursday morning, Garson says she just couldn't take it anymore.

"She got up in the middle of the night and she went into the closet where I have my safe and she opened it up and got the gun out and shot herself, put a gun in her mouth and shot herself," said Garson.

He blames his wife's suicide in part on stress from the hurricane and worrying about how to make ends meet.

"She couldn't take this world anymore," he said.

When it seems like every day, big companies are asking for help, some getting it, Garson questions why small businesses like his are being left to sink.

"The Ike storm victims have totally been forgotten," he maintains.

As he is left to mourn, he hopes the bureaucracies hear him.

"Every file on your desk is someone's life," said Garson. "People's lives in these times hang by threads and these threads can be snapped and you can't replace loved ones."

An SBA spokesman says they are aware of Garson's personal situation and definitely understand his frustration. They are doing everything they can to expedite his file and get him a decision as soon as possible. However, that spokesman could not tell me why the application is still pending.

Garson believes the system is broken. He and his family have been living on credit cards. Their mortgage is on forbearance and now he's left to care for their 2- and 5-year-old sons on his own.

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