For a year and a half, Newbern residents Pam and Donald Hendrix had to call the ambulance every time they wanted to leave their home due to how high their house was from the ground

Pam suffers from Meniere's disease and Donald has endured two strokes and uses a cane to assist with walking.

“People look at us crazy when we say we had to call the ambulance to leave the home whenever we needed to run errands, because that’s just not the thing someone should have to do,” Donald said. “At the time, I was in a wheelchair and didn’t have this cane, so without a ramp I couldn’t get outside without their help.”

In 2019, a ramp was installed at the Hendrix’s home by the Dyersburg Civitan Club, enabling the couple more freedom to leave their home.

The ramp was paid for by a grant through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Home Modifications and Ramp Program. Working closely with United Cerebral Palsy, this program provides funding to assist persons with disabilities gain better access to their homes. Since the program’s inception, over 2,000 wheelchair ramps have been constructed.

Two years later, the Hendrixes still appreciate the impact the wheelchair ramp has made on their life.

“We love to be outside, so now we’re able to get out normally whenever we’d like and it helps so much with groceries, being able to put them in a cart and push it up the ramp,” Pam said. “It’s a blessing and we’re grateful for it.”

Donald said the ability to move freely helps with stress.

“Not having to be on someone else’s time makes you feel like you can take care of yourself,” he said. “The ramp gave us what we needed to feel that and be able to do it also.”