Woman turns to Eyewitness News when wheelchair ramp pleas fall o - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Woman turns to Eyewitness News when wheelchair ramp pleas fall on deaf ears

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

A young mother of two who is bound to a wheelchair after a car crash is pleading with her landlord to fix a ramp she said she desperately needs.

After months of trying to get the landlord’s attention, Shannon O’Dell of Vernon turned to Eyewitness News for help.

“All I'm asking is a way to get in and out of my home safely," O'Dell said.

O’Dell was on the verge of tears when she told her story. She said she wants the ramp repaired outside of the Main Street home she rents with her husband and two young children.

She said it was crooked and not very level.

“It's very frustrating, stressful [and] heartbreaking,” she said. “I'm not able to go out of the house as much because I have to use the stairs and I’m not supposed to. I'm a fall risk and making my injury worse."

O’Dell’s crash was a year ago. She said she hurt her back and it hasn’t gotten any better since it happened. She’s facing another surgery next week.

She said she needs the wheelchair to get around and has been trying to get the landlord fix the problem for three months. In that time, she said there hasn’t been much progress.

“It's frustrating for them to say ‘it will get done, it will get done’ and nothing is happening,” O’Dell said.

Eyewitness News went to the landlord’s office on Wednesday, but they seemed confused.

After a few minutes, someone came out to speak.

“The process is on and we gave a deposit of $4,000,” said Anvar Sheikh, the landlord.

Sheikh said he gave that money to a local contractor, which Eyewitness News contacted over the phone.

The contractor said he did get the money and is willing to do the work. However, he’s still waiting on building permits.

He said the whole ramp needs to be replaced and is not up to code.

When asked how long it was going to take, Sheikh said it depends on the town and the contractor.

He said he was taking care of it.

O’Dell said she’ll believe it when she sees it.

“I’m not asking for much,” she said. “Just a way to get in and out of my own home safely and comfortably.”

The contractor said if the permits come through soon, he hopes to have the ramp rebuilt by the time O’Dell gets back from surgery next week.

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