Garrett had been working at the Hapeville postal facility for 16 years. Then, in April 2009, a 100-pound box full of mail fell from an overhead conveyor belt and hit him in the head.
The incident left Garrett with a broken neck that went unnoticed for some time, he said.
Garrett told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that it took six months for doctors to realize that the accident had broken his neck.
Garrett said his surgeon cleared him to go back to work. But his wife showed Byfield paperwork from other spinal specialists who said he is not ready to return to work.
The Department of Labor handles benefits for postal employees. The Garretts want them to reinstate him.
“He’s been Mail Handler of the Quarter over seven times. That is not a man who does not like to work. That’s a hardworking man,” said Belinda Garrett. He was a loyal employee and never called in sick, she added.
“As soon as I get hurt, everyone turns their back on me. Everybody,” said Garrett as he cried.
He showed Byfield a scar on the back of his neck from brain surgery. Doctors inserted a piece of his hip bone and two metal rods to repair it.
Belinda is now the sole breadwinner and the couple are on the verge of losing their home.
“I have God on my side and that is what is keeping me going. God and my family and if it was not for that, I would have gave up,” said Garrett.
Channel 2 contacted the Department of Labor, but did not receive a response.