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Ramp a ‘miracle’ for woman with MS

Yvonne Ferrell believes in miracles. Last month she experienced what she believes is her own miracle when Good Samaritans in the community made her life much easier.

 

As the Vernon Hill resident stood on her newly built ramp for the first time, she said she is so grateful there are people in her community who really care and want to help.

Thanks to members of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ferrell — who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis — now has a ramp in front of her house on Ridgeway Road that makes it it much easier for her to get in and out of her house.

“I feel as though I have a new life. It is like starting over again,” Ferrell said.

Beth Car Baptist Church members donated all the labor, and the MS Society donated the materials.

According to Joan Landrum, chairman of the Beth Carr Mission Team, the 11 members who helped build the ramp included Mac McDannald, Jean Bailey, Thomas Bryant, Doc Clark, Bear Clark, Daryl Harris, Walt Woicikowfski, Ray Owen, Mike Geisinger, Brent Edwards and Walter Parker.

“When a need comes up, and the labor is available, that’s what we do,” Landrum said of the mission team.

Landrum has known Ferrell since 2010 when she contacted the church for assistance with her electrical bills. 

They lost touch but regained contact this summer, and ever since she and other members of the church have been lending their support to Ferrell.

“I knew she needed help, and her ability to get around was getting more difficult,” Landrum said. “As Christians, we have a responsibility to take care of the ones in need. At Beth Car, we’re all about missions.”

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the MS Society donated around $700 in materials for the new ramp, according to MS Society Program Services Coordinator Paul Kingston. 

Kingston said they noticed Ferrell, a registered member with the MS Society, was having a hard time financially, and it was becoming more difficult for her to get in and out of her house.

“We just wanted to help her get in and out of her house a little easier, so she could live more independently,” Kingston said.

Ferrell, who was diagnosed with MS in 2001, said she has had to overcome many challenges daily. 

Ferrell said it has become harder for her to bathe herself and clean her own home. She said she has had problems with her left leg since 2004, which makes it difficult to walk up steps. 

The ramp has made it easier because she is unable to lift her left leg and now can just drag it up the ramp, she added.

For Ferrell, the MS also has caused numerous financial strains.

At times, she can’t afford the oxygen she uses at nighttime because she stops breathing in her sleep. 

Ferrell had to undergo a $60,000 operation for a herniated disc in her neck in 2008, and she continues to pay that bill. 

Stretching her disability check to pay the rent and medical bills leaves very little for food and other bills.

Kingston said an average cost for a MS patient runs around $30,000 a year.

Ferrell knows words will not allow her to properly thank the members of Beth Car’s Mission Team, the MS Society, and her landlord, Kenneth Marston, who all assisted her in getting the ramp.

She is especially grateful to her landlord for allowing her to build the ramp, and she is quick to credit Marston with providing her a home when she had no place to go.