Dickson friends raise money after tree falls on woman

Friends are trying to help a Dickson woman after a tree fell and nearly took her life.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 9:35 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Friends are trying to help a Dickson woman after a tree fell and nearly took her life.

Nancy Rutan was sitting on her front porch on Friday morning when a tree crashed onto her, breaking her spine and several ribs.

She’s at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville recovering and will be released soon, that’s if she can get in her home.

“We are definitely going to have to have this done before she can come home,” Gary Rutan, Nancy’s husband, said. “You ain’t going to get no wheelchair up through here.”

Strong storms damaged the tree in their front yard and it fell onto Nancy.

There is major damage to their front porch, so when Nancy is released from the hospital, she physically can’t get home.

“I couldn’t do it. I have a bad heart,” Gary Rutan said. “The last doctor I’ve seen said my thyroid is way up there and out of sight.”

He built the porch 17 years ago. He said his health now wouldn’t allow him. The only way to fix the porch is to build it new.

“They told me it was a $500 deductible, and I was like ‘OK,’” Gary Rutan said.

He said with insurance it will cost $1,000, which is money they don’t have now.

“We live paycheck to paycheck,” Gary Rutan said. “She has her social security and I’ve got mine. That’s it.

That’s when Alyssa McCullom, a longtime family friend of Nancy Rutan, stepped in.

“Anytime she needs somebody, she knows that she can call me, and I’m going to drop everything and I’m going to be there, and I’m going to pick up the kids and make sure that she has what she needs,” McCullom said.

She started a GoFundMe account to build Gary a new deck and bring Nancy home.

“That means the world,” Gary Rutan said. ‘I was like, ‘Yeah, thank you.’ It’s like someone up there is looking out after me, I guess.”

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