The last thing Scott Stanhope remembered — before seeing the paramedics — was the shifting lift underneath him.
The 31-year-old electrician was working about 30 feet in the air, pulling wire on a job at a Kahlotus school.
“All I remember is feeling the lift first start to tip,” he said. “The next thing I know I was waking up and there were paramedics all around me. ... I pretty much realized what happened at that point.”
When he hit the ground, he broke both ankles and two vertebrae. He was airlifted to Kadlec Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Recovery is going well, but it will be months before he can even try to walk. His rental home on Barth Avenue in Richland did not have easy wheelchair access to the street. The last time he needed to go to an appointment, his father needed to lift him to get him out of the home.
“My dad, he’s a pretty strong guy, but he was struggling to get me up and down the steps,” Stanhope said. “He almost dropped me a couple times.”
Stanhope didn’t have a ramp installed yet, but even with a steep temporary ramp, it would be difficult to make it out of the house.
That is where Rebuilding Mid-Columbia stepped in to offer a hand. Stanhope’s stepfather, Larry Perez, knew Crystal Carter, the executive director and co-founder of the nonprofit, and got in contact with her to help put together the ramp.
The nonprofit reaches out to community leaders, local businesses and volunteers, so they can help low-income homeowners with repairs. They generally focus on single parents, elderly, the disabled and veterans.
Carter knew exactly where to turn. She reached out to Carpenters Local 59 for a professional and Kennewick’s Lord of Life Lutheran Church for the volunteers to build the ramp.
“These guys are fantastic. They’ve built over a hundred wheelchair ramps in Wapato,” she said. “We have a very skilled team out here today.”
The team showed up at 8 a.m. Friday to start constructing the temporary ramp. Carter expected the work to wrap up on Saturday.
It was not something Stanhope could have accomplished easily. When a team of about 10 people showed up, he was surprised.
“I was expecting five people to show up. They have an afternoon crew coming too,” he said. “I’ve never met any of these people before in my life, and they just showed up and volunteered to help out.”
Stanhope and his girlfriend are the 65th family helped by the nonprofit, Carter said. Anyone interested in reaching Rebuilding Mid-Columbia can call 509-420-4854 for more information.