Healthcare workers help rehab patients vote in person

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Denina Gilliam was a patient at TIRR Memorial Hermann, a rehabilitation facility, since August after being treated for MS at a hospital.

"After the hospital, I went to the rehab center to get stronger, exercise these muscles," she said.

On Thursday, a day she had been looking forward to for some time, she and other patients got to go vote.

"I'm glad I wasn't the only one to come out and do it," she said.

Eight patients from TIRR made their way to the polling site in the medical center about a block away.

"We fought for our rights to vote as women. Then we fought for our right to vote as Blacks. So it's a big privilege to be able to vote," said Gilliam, who has voted since she was 18. She's now 56.

When they arrived, the poll workers provided the machines to vote, and the 'I voted' sticker she wore with pride signified a journey complete.

TIRR's interim CEO, Rhonda Abbott, said they're so grateful everyone came together to make the trip to the polls happen.

"We're very appreciative to Harris County for giving options to our voters and particularly to individuals with disabilities that might have difficulty getting to a polling site or be at higher risk for COVID-19 potentially and needing to put some safety measures in place for themselves," Abbott said.

"You have a voice. If you don't get out and vote, you have no voice," Gilliam said.

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