Getting in and out of the house is something most of us take for granted. When this elderly man was finding it difficult, he got help in an unexpected, and heartwarming, way.
Nick and Hannah Zoulas of El Dorado County, California, have been married for more than 60 years. They’d always managed well together, but in more recent times life had gotten more difficult.
Nick was having trouble getting out his house for dialysis treatment.
Nick needs help getting to and from treatment for dialysis. But the steps up to the front door of his house were dangerous and difficult for him to navigate.
They were such a hazard, in fact, that two drivers from the transport services Nick relies on to get to and from treatment thought the steps too dangerous to cross with a wheelchair.
“A couple of guys quit coming because they weren’t about to go up that walkway,” Nick told Good Day Sacramento.
In April, the danger became real as Nick took a fall down the steps. Firefighters responded to the emergency call, but fortunately, they found that Nick wasn’t seriously injured—however, he was still in need of help.
Firefighters Captain Jason Snyder and Brock Pruter decided to build Nick a ramp.
“We determined that he wasn’t really injured. He just needed a bandage on his elbow,” Captain Jason Snyder told Good Day Sacramento.
They could have very well bandaged his arm and moved on, but that wouldn’t have improved Nick’s situation. Instead, they busied their hands making his home more accessible.
“I said, well that sounds wonderful, it would be great, it would be helpful,” Hannah told Good Day Sacramento.
They bought some wood and got busy building two ramps in total, one for the outside step he needs to cross to get off the porch and another for inside the home to make getting about easier.
“It was a pretty simple task for us to throw something together for them, pretty cheaply done, and quickly done we had the time and ability,” Snyder said.
“It makes me feel safe, you know, I’m not bouncing off the stairs,” Nick said.
The two firefighters plan on also inspecting the rest of the walkway to make sure it’s safe.
“We are happy to do it. It’s something that we would do for our grandparents or our parents and that’s why we’re here,” firefighter Brock Pruter said.
But while the firefighters are quick to brush off their kindness, the Zoulases are grateful for their help. Getting Nick to his dialysis treatment isn’t nearly as difficult, or dangerous, as it used to be.
“They are the nicest guys and they work so hard and to help us, you know, they didn’t have to,” Hannah said. “It’s really meant a lot.”