ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – On a cold, snowy day, imagine walking up or down a set of broken stairs or across a muddy yard.
James Price takes a shot at it every day, but hit circumstances are a little more difficult.
Price has liver and rectal cancer. He lost his legs about four years ago.
He’s also a veteran and gets 10 percent of what he’s been promised from the VA.
But it gets worse.
His wife Wanda has to roll him backwards down the hill in their yard, sometimes James has fallen out of his wheelchair while they were trying to get to the hospital.
The Prices have no wheelchair ramp, it’s up to Wanda to carry or push her husband.
On top of that, James has been using the same bathroom since he lost his legs four years ago: a metal bowl and soap, which serves as his sink and shower combination.
None of this is lost on social worker Rosalyn Johnson.
“It breaks my heart,” Johnson said. “No one should have to live this way, especially after serving their country.”
Johnson got a call about James. She tried more than a dozen agencies, begging for help, none of which could step up.
“I called all over Beaver County,” she said, “Allegheny County, couldn’t get anyone. So I had to get Marty.”
After Johnson contacted KDKA’s Marty Griffin, we got a call from Carl D’Alicandro from A-Plus Stair Lifts. His lift will give James some dignity and allow him to use the upstairs bathroom.
“Nobody should be a prisoner in their own home,” D’Alicandro said. “I just wanna help out.”
We also heard from Steve Mazza, with the Carpenters Union. They will build the wheelchair ramp.
“I’ve seen this many, many times,” Mazza said, “Over and over. It’s hard to believe we have this in the United State of America. This is the USA isn’t it?”