Several decades ago, Alexander Yudin lost his leg in a car accident. Three years ago, he slipped using crutches on ice, leaving him with a complicated hip fracture which at 67-years-old meant he wouldn’t be able to walk for the rest of his life.
Leaving his apartment on the third floor of a block in Timashevsk, a small town in southern Russia, became impossible for Yudin, as his house does not have any facilities for low-mobility residents to move around. To exit the house, he needed at least one more person to help him, and his son had to spend the day at work.
“I was lying with a cast and wondering how to avoid immobilizing myself, how to get out of this situation,” Yudin told Reuters.
After many hours spent browsing the internet for solutions and not finding any, Yudin came up with his own—constructing a solar-powered balcony elevator. The construction took several months as he ordered details online, saving for each one from his retirement pension. The wait was long, but it was well worth it, Yudin said—”…now I have a job, I see people, I ride around on my own, I communicate with people. Communication is life.”
According to the data by the ministry of labor, over 320,000 Russians suffer from mobility disabilities and are only able to move in a wheelchair. However, there is often no sufficient infrastructure to support these people, especially in small towns away from Moscow.
The elevator is powered by solar panels attached to the side of Yudin’s house; he decided to use solar energy to avoid getting stuck if any power cuts happen.
Yudin, who spent his life working as an electrician, says he is happy that his ingenuity helped him in need.
“I used to lift weights, now I lift myself,” said Yudin.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.