Veterans help Alcoa amputee get his freedom back with wheelchair ramp

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ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT)-- An East Tennessee war veteran got his freedom back. The amputee was a prisoner in his own home; unable to get down the stairs in his wheelchair -- until now.

"Gets me out of my house," Steve Lundy, a war veteran from 1976, said.

The Alcoa veteran relies on a wheelchair to get around, but had no way of getting down his front steps

Thanks to veterans helping each other, that's no longer the case.

"Oh my god, why me?" Steve asked. The 65-year-old was born with poor circulation in his legs. He served overseas in the 1970's, but with trouble walking, he was honorably discharged. In November this year, with Steve's life on the line, doctors amputated.

"If it's my time to go, then it will happen on the table. Thank God I came out of it," he said. And the fight isn't over. "Now my right toe is getting black."

With the possibility of becoming a double amputee, Steve said he needs all the help he can get. Which is why just a ramp means getting his life back.

Ed Gunod is part of East Tennessee's Vet to Vet. Just this year, they helped ten veterans in need. Even though the construction on Steve's home is done, the project is far from over.

"We not only repair the home, but repair mind, body, spirit," Gunod said.

You can connect with Vet to Vet by contacting (865) 336-2624 or by logging on to www.tnvhc.org.

Gunod also reminds veterans of HISA, or the Home Improvement Structural Alteration. If veterans need a wheelchair, the VA can help pay for home improvements before the surgery takes place.