DUBLIN, Va. – A surprising show of support from strangers has given a Pulaski couple new hope and a new outlook.
“It was overwhelming. I didn’t expect that at all,” said Jason Leonard. “You don’t expect people to reach out like that and help the way they did.”
Just a few weeks ago, Jason’s wife, Christy, went to the hospital to have her right leg amputated just below the knee. With no job, no electric wheelchair and no handicap-accessible home, Jason didn’t know what he would do.
“There would have been no way that I would have been able to come up with the money,” said Leonard.
Exactly one month ago, Leonard first shared his family’s story with 10 News.
Since then, strangers have stepped up and donated food, an electric wheelchair, a wheelchair ramp, and even a car.
Now, Leonard has a new job and a new home with an open floor plan that’s easier for Christy to get around.
However, making their new home accessible hasn’t been easy. Leonard had to cut away part of the door frame just so her wheelchair could fit through.
“I had to cut out part of the frame for her to be able to get through that one,” said Leonard. “And then the first night, with the door shut, you get moths and everything coming in where the frame was cut out, so I thought, ’Yeah, something’s got to be done about that.’”
Leonard made some calls and found Adam Cornett from Window World of Southwest Virginia in Wytheville.
Cornett decided to custom order and install a wheelchair accessible door worth about $2,400 -- for free.
“I put myself in their shoes. And, you know, I kind of tried to take a step back and say, you know, if I was in their situation and I was reaching out to someone for help, how would I feel?” said Cornett. “And I know if I was in their situation, I would want someone to do everything they could to help me.”
It’s still a long battle ahead. Christy’s recovery is slow and Leonard has to care for her and provide for his family.
He started a GoFundMe to raise money to help pay electric and water bills and afford a good prosthetic leg, which could cost thousands of dollars.
Leonard is bracing himself for the long journey ahead and moving forward one day at a time.
“Try to find some way every day to improve the quality of our lives. Find something to make things better every day,” said Leonard. “Even though if it’s something small, as long as we’re not taking any steps backward, we’re moving forward.”