JENKS, Okla. — Employees in this town's six public schools have agreed to donate their sick leave days to a co-worker crippled by Lou Gehrig's disease to keep him on the payroll and able to support his family.
Darrell Gwartney, Jenks schools personnel director, said that the system's 750 employees will get a notice in their paycheck Friday allowing them to contribute annual and accrued sick leave days to Paul Huston, a teacher whose allotted sick leave has expired.
"I'm overwhelmed with their generosity," Huston, 40, said of the efforts of his co-workers. "If it had not been for that policy, I would be unemployed and unable to support a family."
Destroys Bodily Functions
The formal name of Huston's illness is amytrophic lateral sclerosis, a terminal illness that destroys motor functions of the body.
For the last five years, Huston, who is married and has two sons, has taught Earth science to eighth-graders at Central Middle School. Last year, unable to move his arms or legs, he was forced to teach in a wheelchair.