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Volunteers build ramp for veteran with COPD

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. – Less than a month after the CBS 6 Problem Solvers profiled a veteran desperate for a wheelchair ramp to gain access to her home, a group of volunteers from Richmond completed the project.

Seventy-four-year-old Waseta Fredericks, who served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was eventually awarded with the National Defense Service Medal for her duties, suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Waseta Fredericks

Waseta Fredericks

“She's been in the hospital about three or four times for COPD exacerbations between January and end of February,” her son Richard Fredericks said.

After weeks in the hospital, Fredericks was discharged on Sunday, Feb. 26. Later that day, she collapsed steps away from the front door of her home. Fredericks injured her leg in the accident, which left a large open wound.

“No one expected this to happen, but it happened like this,” Fredericks said. “There was quite of bit of bleeding there and then the EMTs came.”

Volunteers from Project Home construct a new ramp at the Fredericks' home in New Kent County.

Volunteers from Project Home construct a new ramp at the Fredericks' home in New Kent County.

Fredericks' son and son-in-law built a new deck at her home while she was gone, but did not have the manpower or materials to make the ramp needed to make life easier for her in the long run.

“I would be relieved and reassured because I know if it was up there, I would be using it,” she told WTVR CBS 6 in March.

A group of volunteers from Project Home, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Richmond, completed the job this weekend.

“We heard that there was an individual a veteran that needed a ramp built,” project manager Paul Shively said. “And we agreed to come out here and get it done for her, at no cost to her. We came out we provided the materials and the labor.”

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