Demetrius Palmer A Barberton Man Who Overcame Challenges

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Demetrius Palmer BHS 2007

BarbertonJournal.com is a news and entertainment provider with content by local writers, experts, and Community Leaders. Opinions are the writers. 

When interviewing Demetrius Palmer, owner of Vega Media Marketing, I was reminded of a poem “Don’t Quit,” first published in 1936 by an unknown author. After reading his story you will understand.

“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you are trudging seems all up hill,

…..When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must–but don’t quit.

…..Often the goal is nearer than

 It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup.”

Although Palmer never quit, at first, he was unsure of just what path his life would take.  Perhaps his life can be compared to our own-looking, trying, failing and regrouping. And that was his secret, never looking back and always regrouping

“I graduated from Barberton High School in 2007. In my youth I really did not have any aspirations just living for the moment.  With a voice that was easy to listen to Palmer went on to explain. “Like other young people I had my passions. I was into my music, girls and cars. I was just taking it one day at a time.”

Palmers first thrust at life after high school came when he enrolled at Brown Mackie college to become a paralegal. Taking a deep thoughtful breath, he admitted after a week he dropped out.

“I racked up a lot of money in loans after I dropped out, but they let me come back. However, I was young, only nineteen-years-old, and I could not afford the payments. So, I withdrew again,” Palmer said.

The bittersweet moment came when he discovered afterwards he had a 3.0-point average and was on the President’s list. Paralegal was still his interest but after he left Brown Mackie, Palmer understood he needed a job. So, he went to work for Ohio State Waterproofing. After a year and a half, he received a layoff notice and for the next six months he remained unemployed.

“Next, I got a job at Scotts Miracle Grow Plant in Orville as a line technician. It was a pretty cool gig. I was only twenty-one, working a lot of overtime and making more money than ever in my life,” Palmer said. “I was able to live in a nice home for someone my age that I had no business being in.”

But Palmer’s youth created the problem, with a nice house came partying. Soon he was on the outs, because, as he added, being late to many times. So once again he found himself unemployed until he landed a job with Alcoa Aluminum working in the wheelhouse, where they made aluminum truck rims.

Palmer added he was in that phase of life where I jumped around from factory to factory, but always wanted more. He soon found himself being fired from Alcoa. Palmer felt like he was the fall guy in the corporate ladder. There were quality control issues, and someone had to be blamed. So, he moved on, and soon found himself being employed by several other factories in Barberton.

“I had a certain lifestyle I wanted to live up to, so factory employment gave me the chance,” Palmer said.

Life is always full of the unknown and one day when he was working as a temporary employee at Tahoma Plastics, he suffered a brain aneurysm. He tried to place the date when his wife Alison reminded him it was 2014. It was a life changer as he was still finding his way through life trying out different career paths.

Palmer never hinted life was against him. He had his challenges, like never knowing his father and meeting him only once when he was twenty-eight. His uncles became the father figure in his life.

But now there was an aneurism and that was a debilitating setback.

“They were convinced it was an overdose,” his wife Alison said.

“Barberton Hospital thought it was an overdose. I would never have partaken in anything like that.” Palmer added.

“I was just sitting at home when I fell over. They rushed me to Barberton Hospital, and they (Barberton Hospital) Life Flighted me to Cleveland Clinic. They put a tube into my head to drain the fluid.”

He was now in a coma for four days.

“When I woke up, I thought, I don’t belong here. It was some of the worse pain I have ever known in my life,” Palmer added.

The hospital gave him a round of physical therapy because he suffered a small stroke while in Cleveland Clinic. But his goal was getting home and soon he returned.  Still the symptoms continued. After going back to the hospital for the fourth time, Akron General decided to perform two spinal taps. While trying to pull spinal fluids they drew blood, so they sent him immediately for an MRI. Six hours later a team of doctors came to his room and told Palmer he had AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which is a cluster of arteries wrapped around the spinal cord.

Three quarters of his spine was covered by the AVM, so when they did the spinal tap it was caused an aneurism in his back causing his organs to shut down. A couple of days later he could no longer stand up and on a Monday morning they rushed him into surgery. The first surgery he ever had.

The surgery lasted two days and over sixteen hours. Palmer went to the hospital on Friday, had the surgery on Monday morning and did not wake up until Tuesday afternoon. He could not feel anything from waist down. The doctors told him not to worry you will be up walking in six months.

“That was not acceptable to me because I have two children. After a month at Cleveland Clinic they sent me to Metro Rehab Center on the spinal injuries floor,” Palmer said. “My goal was to get released before my daughter’s birthday and I got out the day before. I set a goal to walk in thirty days.”

With the surgery behind and rehab now recent history, Palmer still felt a bit of numbness that contributed to difficult walking. Still he continued to lay out high hopes and continued to believe he could still create a still better life for him and his family.

So now the path forward should be comfortable and the wind to his back. But alas there was another mountain to climb. In November of 2016 he slipped and fell on a slippery deck. He could not feel the damage to his ankle due to neuropathy.

 “The pain may have been like ten but with the neuropathy, to me is was more like five. I just got in the car and drove home and walked it out,” Palmer said.

He walked it out for nearly four months, but the pain persisted, so he went to a doctor and they told him he suffered a fracture earlier and it did not heal correctly. The doctors told him his foot would have to go in a boot but that too was a failure as some of the bones had collapsed and deteriorated, including the tibia.

The doctor told him it was either amputation or fusion surgery. For many the answer from the doctor may have been the end.

“I thought about it for about an hour, my wife and I talked it over and decided on the amputation.”

Palmer added, “It was more like a quality of life decision, to just be able to have the opportunity run and play with the kids again,” Allison added.

“In retrospect it was an out for me because I was born with chronic lymphedema. It was a chance to start over. I could never wear shorts or shoes that fit because of the swelling.”

A few months later he got the prosthetic. When asked about the surgery another piece of fractured life was told to him.

“When I woke up from the surgery, my family was all standing around and I discovered they found my cousin was just murdered in an Akron.

“It was crazy because just a few weeks before we took my cousin on a vacation because he never saw the ocean before. It was meant to be.”

His cousin was so enchanted with the view of the moon from the hotel he wrote a song about it. Palmer never got a chance to hear the song.

The challenge Palmer now faced was procuring employment. He was on disability for a while, but he stated that was not his thing.

“I didn’t want disability because there are people out there that need it. I was not disabled; I just had one leg.”

So, the question is where would Palmer go from here.

“I got wind of a new trend coming along called Digital Marketing, so I looked into it and fell in love with the concept. There wasn’t much I could do with one leg except use the computer or watch TV and I am not into watching TV.”

Palmer took some classes and became certified and started on a new career in 2017 with on-line marketing. He got his certification with Google Marketing. Palmer confirmed by that he is accredited. “There is a lot of people who claim to do that, but I am accredited.”

After maneuvering through the industry and learning the business starting in 2017, I decided to start my own business building a marketing agency, Vega Marketing.” Palmer offered his companies statement.

Vega Media Marketing specializes in implementing automated growth strategies for lead generations and brand awareness Our job is to provide high quality business growth solutions that allow an increase in consistency control and scalability over marketing.

Palmer has been working with a few local companies.

“In the beginning (of his business) I wanted to be able to control the bandwidth because my ultimate goal is to be able to deliver results to my clients. Its not about the money for me, it is about delivering. I’m not in marketing right now to see how many clients I can get. It doesn’t benefit me or them if I cannot deliver.”

Right now, he has taken on clients like Magic City Waterproofing, Diamond Tire, TLC Recovery Services, an addiction recovery service and Dr. Romito’s Family Dental.

Palmer has also created an election video for Councilman Thomas “Bebe” Heitic.

For the future Palmer just envision helping as many people as possible and seeing a future network of like minded positive thinking people trying to get to the same goal.

Demetrius is married to his wife Angie and they have 3 children.

3 COMMENTS

  1. These are stories I love to read about. Congratulations for being so strong & over come your obstacles. Determination is the goal!!!! I wish you & your family the best!

  2. Outstanding Young man whose story is inspirational to all. With your talents and internal drive you will go far in life. Proud of you!!

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Micheala Johanson
Micheala Johanson
I've worked at several occupations throughout my life including journalist, photographer and chef/owner of Micheala's Cafe. Local history is one of my first loves. I sit on the board of the Wadsworth Area Historical Society and a member of the River Styx Historical Society. Being a resident of Barberton for the past fifteen years I have become interested in Barberton area history as well.

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