a positive force in the world
A shooting leaves a man paralyzed, but insurance gives him and his family a chance to create a new life.
Mark Chilutti remembers the moment the bullet cut through his chest and severed his spinal cord in December 1996. He knew he was paralyzed. But Mark, who was shot during a jewelry store robbery, now achieves more from his wheelchair than most of us can standing on two feet. That is in large part due to a disability income insurance policy that Mark bought from Jay I. Weintraub, a Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company agent. Ironically, Mark and Jay had discussed the policy for a couple of months, and Mark purchased a policy with Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company only two days before the shooting. Today, the disability payments he receives from the policy allow him to financially support himself and to live a meaningful life.
Mark is fortunate to have this chance. Many paraplegics face not only overwhelming physical challenges but also severe financial difficulties. Yet, Mark's life is rich and full. He drives a specially equipped car, lives in his own home and plays ice hockey in a league for the disabled.
And Mark sees that he has an important role to play: "I tell people everyday that they must live life to the fullest because you never know what the future holds."
Mark volunteers regularly for Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia -- the people who he lovingly says, "Put me back together again." He also speaks to young people about the dangers of drugs, alcohol abuse, and gun violence, and has testified before the Philadelphia City Council on gun control.
Through it all, Mark has maintained a close relationship with Jay, who had to insist that Mark buy the policy in the first place. "Mark was like many business people," says Jay. "He had a lot of other bills to pay. But we worked together to find a policy that protected his future. Mark is my hero, I call him just to brighten my day. His positive outlook serves as an inspiration in my life."
The incident has given Mark a perspective on insurance that fortunately few of us ever need to see. "I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the value of insurance since the shooting," says Mark. "You purchase insurance never fully expecting to see its value. When you need it, it is reassuring to know it's there to improve the quality of your life."