DECATUR, Tenn. (WATE) — A blind woman in Meigs County maneuvers around her home and is asking for assistance in building a ramp to help her get in and out safely.
Vanessa Hill, of Decatur, says she needs a ramp, either wooden or portable aluminum, for the main entrance of her home.
For Hill, the steps outside her home near Decatur are old and unsafe. Hill can’t walk and she wanted to show her experience with getting down the damaged wooden steps at her home.
She carefully lowers herself and sits on the top step, then she extends her left leg, which is still healing from major surgery after breaking it last spring.
“I broke the femur in the worst way worst place I could break it and then [the doctor] put a plate with screws.,” Hill said. “He called it a ‘big boy’ is what the doctor called it.”
Hill’s partner of 26 years, Ronald James, is also disabled. According to him, this is the routine Hill does half a dozen times a week whenever she leaves and returns from her home.
Their mobile home is up a rugged hill in rural Meigs County. Deep ruts in the dirt driveway make it difficult to navigate.
Hill and James owned their home and moved in about 12 years ago. WATE Don Dare looked at the front steps which haven’t been repaired. To keep it from wobbling nails have been driven into the steps but overall they’re dangerous.
Hill is blind a diabetic and is recovering from a stroke. Hill and James can not work. Together their disability checks total $1,400 a month.
“I’ve always been a ‘go-getter’ and this is just kind of knocked me out of being a ‘go-getter,'” Hill said.
“Once she gets down the steps, I’m not so worried about it. Standing back up is when I get worried about her because she gets lightheaded sometimes,” James said.
Hill said that it’s even harder when the weather changes from rain or heat because the steps would be slippery or hot.
James has also had multiple back surgeries. He says at one time he would have been able to repair the stairs.
“I can’t do it,” James said. “I used to use go I used to build houses … and everything else. I can’t do it no more.”
In July, a volunteer group offered to install a wooden wheelchair ramp.
“They said that our driveway was too rough and that they couldn’t get their trailer and put their trailer and equipment anywhere,” James said.
Hill expressed that she needs a safe way in and out of her house. Before her leg injury, she didn’t have to crawl. She reached out to some nonprofits for help.
One group who looked over the situation, unfortunately, had to turn her down.
She remains hopeful that someone else may lend a hand.