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Veteran with COPD asks for ramp to access home: ‘No one expected this to happen’

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NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- A veteran's family called the CBS 6 Problem Solvers hoping for help to build a ramp at a home in New Kent County.

Seventy-four-year-old Waseta Fredericks served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was eventually awarded with the National Defense Service Medal for her duties.

Fredericks now 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 finally 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.”

Richard Fredericks and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Amy Vu.

Richard Fredericks and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Amy Vu.

She has been recovering at the Riverside Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center in West Point. Over the last month, Fredericks’ son and son-in-law built a new deck at the home.

Now they need to construct a ramp to make life easier for her in the long run. Fredericks is trying not to let her latest stroke of bad luck break her spirit.

“I would be relieved and reassured because I know if it was up there, I would be using it,” she said.

Richard said, “It would mean she would be able to get out and do more than just going to doctor's appointments.”

The deck.

The deck.

Fredericks is set to be released and head home Saturday, Feb. 18, but she will still have weekly appointments at a wound care center.

Leaders of the West Point Knights of Columbus chapter say they will help build the ramp, so the family mainly needs money for the materials.

If you would like to help Fredericks or learn more about the project, click here for their GoFundMe page.

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