Contractor volunteers time, resources to build handicap-accessible ramp for injured tornado victim

Contractor volunteers time, resources to build handicap-accessible ramp for injured tornado victim

ALTO, Texas (KTRE/KLTV) - Three months after a tornado left an Alto man unable to walk down his mobile home stairs, a contractor has volunteered his time and resources to help build a ramp to make his home handicap accessible.

Gary and Sue Adams lost their home in the April tornadoes. They trying to find shelter along with their grandson, Alex Ross, when their home was thrown into the air.

“It took the entire room and flung it in the backyard, I’d say, 40 to 60 feet,” said Ross. “It’s hard to explain; when the tornado hit, the floor -- it was like you were standing on water.”

Gary was badly injured. His legs suffered a brunt of the damage when he was thrown by the force of the tornado, and ever since, he’s had difficulty walking, much less standing up.

“He had a couple issues falling down, and was hospitalized once when feeding his cows,” Ross explained.

The family was provided a donated FEMA mobile home in the aftermath of the storm. However, Gary had a difficult time getting up and down the stairs.

Kevin Jones, member of St. Cyprian’s Church in Lufkin, heard about the family’s needs and decided to lend a hand.

“I’d recently gone with our youth group at church to Florida and had seen some hurricane devastation there,” Jones explained. “I knew that just 30 or 40 miles north of where I live, Alto was in need. I felt it silly to go to Florida - a 14 or 15-hour drive away - when I can come 45 minutes and help local people."

Jones said he was helped by three members of St. Cyprian’s youth group.

Jones is a self-employed construction worker who has worked in Lufkin for the last 40 years. He said he’s built handicap-accessible ramps in the past, and thanks to a local business in the area providing the materials, he saw an opportunity to help to fellow East Texan.

“There’s givers and takers in life, and we have to learn to give,” Jones said. “Our spirit tells us, 'Let’s help somebody.’"

“We’re afraid nowadays to get out and expose ourselves and be vulnerable. You just have to get out there; the Lord will provide and your spirit will feel better,” Jones added.

Jones said he hopes to finish the ramp within the next few weeks. He added that he is also planning to build a covered porch for the Adams family.

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