With so much going on in people’s lives these days, it’s easy to assume someone else will take care of a problem when someone is in need, and to pass the burden of action on to someone else. Unfortunately, that means that most of the time no action is taken whatsoever.
For Derek Jenks, there was no passing the burden elsewhere. Domingo Matos needed help, and Jenks was in a particularly good position to give him that help.
Domingo Matos’s life changed after he was caught in the crossfire of an armed robbery over a decade ago, leaving him paralyzed.
After years of coping, Matos had adjusted to life in his wheelchair and was able to maneuver with adequate dexterity. But there was still one turn that regularly gave him trouble. Unfortunately, it was right in front of his home. The pathway leading from his front door to his driveway was far too narrow.
Matos had already fallen out of his chair twice because of the treacherous path.
“Turning on the little sidewalk part, my wheels have come off and I’ve gone straight to the sod,” Matos told WINK News.
After it happened again it was obvious that the problem wouldn’t go away on it’s own. Worse, the second time it happened Matos sustained a number of injuries.
“I hit my head really bad, my neck, shoulder, hip,” he said.
The narrow path in front of his house was causing Matos to fall out of his chair and injure himself, but he couldn’t afford to do anything about it. Jenks knew he could help.
Jenks is the owner of the Florida-based landscaping company, Outdoor Perfections. He took a trip out to see the path for himself after seeing a post on Facebook asking for help.
“Death trap, definitely a death trap,” Jenks told WINK News. He quickly sketched out a way to widen the path and make it easier for Matos to come and go from his home.
Using some extra pavers that he had in his warehouse, Jenks put his team to work. It was stormy outside the day they planned to complete the project, but knowing it would mean delaying the project, workers braved the elements. The old path was destroyed and a new one was put in its place.
Jenks paved a new path for Matos for free, designed specifically to accommodate his electric wheelchair.
“We removed the sod that was here and measured out 5-feet, so he can get easy access with his electrical wheelchair here. He could actually drive down it turn around on it without falling over,” Jenks said.
Before, Matos was unable to go down the path in one direction without fear of tumbling over and injuring himself. Now, he was able to come and go from his home as he pleased, all thanks to the kindness of someone who was willing and able.
“They’re exceptional people and they have a good heart,” said Matos. “I’m so happy right now.”