It took a few years to become reality, but Peter Pipes is enjoying his newfound freedom thanks to a new wheelchair ramp at his home in Riverview.
For more than three years, Peter was essentially trapped in the home because of stairs he could not navigate. He uses a wheelchair due to spine and nerve problems triggered by a blood clot following surgery.
Now, with the help of Ability New Brunswick, a $7,000 wooden ramp has been built and Peter can once again head outside. The money came from the Housing Assistance for Persons with Disabilities program through Social Development.
“It gets me out of the house,” he says. “I couldn’t before because of the stairs. But now I can go out, take the dogs to the park or go shopping. It gets the stink blown off me.”
His wife Sheona says the process took a few years and seemed at times to be bogged down in slow-moving bureaucracy. But she says once Ability New Brunswick became involved, everything moved along much faster and they were able to get the ramp.
“Yes, it was a struggle to get to this point. But we’re here now and it is awesome,” she says.
“Ability New Brunswick was a great help in getting through the logjams we faced.”
Peter’s disability came gradually and, at first, he could get around with a walker. There was also an old, poorly built ramp at the back of the house but it became unusable once Peter had weakened to the point where he had to use a wheelchair.
Both Peter and Sheona struggled to cope with Peter’s lack of mobility and his isolation inside the house.
“He felt bad because I was doing so much and he felt he couldn’t help,” Sheona says. “We missed going out together. But my biggest fear was fire. That weighed heavily on me. Now that we have the ramp, I am not so worried.”