After he had a life-changing accident, one man's co-workers are showing the spirit of Christmas by raising funds and gathering volunteers to bring him home again.
"You wake up one morning and, all of a sudden, your world is different," said wife Jessica Conley.
Jessica Conley's world changed Nov. 10, when her husband, Larry Conley, went duck hunting with his buddies. That day, his four-wheeler slipped off a levee in Camden, pinning him and breaking his neck.
Co-workers at the Hendersonville Parks and Recreation Department, where Larry Conley has been a mechanic for 18 years, immediately started spreading the word to get support.
"I just couldn't believe it," said Pat Sodersten, with the parks department. "This is going to be a long road for them, and they are going to need help for a long time."
"Last week, we gave $300 in gas cards and food cards," said Parks Director Dave LeMarbre.
That money raised at City Hall will help with Jessica Conley's commutes to visit her husband as he rehabs in Atlanta through the spring.
But changes needed on the home front are overwhelming.
"Anything that's not 32 inches wide and a door frame has to be torn out and widened," Jessica Conley said.
It will be a lot of work to bring Larry Conley back to his family, but his co-workers are ready.
"A local plumber here is going to donate some fixtures, bathtub fixtures and things like that. We're gonna knock walls out. We're gonna build ramps, so it is going to be an extensive project with the house," LeMarbre said.
Workers will have to stretch 96 feet of ramp for Larry Conley to reach his house, but they first have to replace rocks out front with concrete so his wheelchair can roll along the driveway.
Jessica Conley has started a website to raise funds and keep everyone updated on her husband's recovery at http://supportconley.com/.
"Each night, my husband and I sit down and read text messages and emails for the day and the cards that come, and we just cry. It's overwhelming, the kindness of people," Jessica Conley said.
Anyone who would like to donate money or their skills to help the Conleys, contact the Hendersonville Parks and Recreation Department at 615-822-3898.
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