7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

NEFAR members construct wheelchair ramps for housebound amputee and disabled wife

NEFAR members construct wheelchair ramps for housebound amputee and disabled wife

NEFAR members showed off both their “Good Neighbor” skills as well as their abilities in construction when they helped an amputee and his disabled wife gain access to their Southside home by building two permanent wheelchair ramps March 23.

Using supplies provided by Builders Care, the charitable arm of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, the REALTOR® volunteers attached a front deck to a ramp in the front of the home and built a sizeable deck and ramp in the rear of the property so that the couple can enjoy their backyard.

The REALTORS® also painted the trim on the house and plan to replace the home’s shutters March 28.

The volunteers worked under the direction of the Community Affairs Task Force, which is chaired by Christina Welch and Margarita Cavanagh. Amanda Strickland of LunsPro Inspections sponsored the event by providing water and snacks to hungry workers.

The couple, Dana and Karen Sword, are both confined to wheelchairs and have been housebound for the past eight months. Dana lost his leg due to gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, paired with a major blood clot. He also had recently recovered from a heart attack. Meanwhile, his wife suffered from two strokes, leaving her dependent upon her wheelchair.

“We expected a little ramp to get out the door, we didn’t expect all this,” said Dana Sword, referring to the two large decks that were also built on the front and back of the house. “We couldn’t get out the door before without me hopping on one leg and pulling the wheelchairs behind me. The ramps make it so we can get out of the house. This impacts us greatly,” he said.

NEFAR’s Community Affairs Task Force has several other charitable events planned this year including a visit to ReThreaded Thursday, May 5, where members of the real estate community will dismantle old leather seats so the materials can be used to make handmade items that will be made by former sex-trafficking victims and sold by the nonprofit. Also planned is a community-wide river and ocean clean-up event Saturday, July 23.