MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The shootings shook the foundation of Memphis. Gwendolyn Cherry, murdered. Memphis Police Lieutenant Ed Vidulich, murdered. Herbert Wooten, murdered, his wife shot. Barbara Wooten has since been in a wheelchair, fighting infections and other illness. On Monday, she had a heart transplant operation. She doesn’t have the money for anti-rejection drugs.
She’s lucky, though. James Fisher didn’t think his friend was going to make it. “It was very bad,” he said. “She was down to, I would say, weeks.”
Three years ago, James didn’t know anything about Barbara. They both met online, and since then a strong friendship has formed. He’s learned a lot since first hearing from Barbara: how her husband was murdered, how the thug that killed him, Dexter Cox, came back and shot Barbara as she was trying to get away. “After she was shot in 2007, she got a bacterium infection," James said. "The infection affected her heart. That’s what led up to this, to having a heart transplant.”
One person with hate running through his veins changed lives. Those changes can last forever; they did in Barbara’s case. She talked about seeing the man who shot her and murdered her husband just last year. “I’m angry, hurt,” Barbara Wooten said in May of 2011. “He took my best friend, my husband, away from me. The father of my children. Their grandfather."
She has a new heart now after a transplant on Monday. She also has new bills, thousands of dollars in medical bills. Barbara Wooten lives on Social Security and maybe a little life insurance, according to her friend, James. She is still being victimized by a guy who’s behind bars, serving two life sentences.
James says he’s learned a lot since he got to know Barbara. “The victim suffers more, you know, than the ones left behind. The criminals don’t get punished enough.”
James knows nothing about setting up a fund to help Barbara pay her medical bills, but says that’s his goal. Once he sets up the fund, and tells us what bank he’s using, we will let you know.