COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The lifestyle adjustment for James Evans is still sinking in.

He now uses a wheelchair ramp to get inside his Cookeville home. If he needs a cup or dish, he relies on his hydraulic chair. But he's back in Tennessee, something he's wanted for months.

“I got home Christmas Eve, thank goodness,” Evans said. “Got a chance to spend it with my wife and all of adult children and my grandsons.”

After months of rehab at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Evans is back home.

Evans worked as a nurse in the Nashville community for almost 30 years. The same community has stepped up to help him.

In June 2019, Evans was working as a home nurse and was parked outside of a patient’s home on Jefferson Street when he said a car slammed into his vehicle, pushing Evans’ vehicle into a telephone pole and paralyzed him from the waist down.

At one point, Evans was nervous about returning home. His landlord, once hesitant about making the house ADA accessible, has since had a change of heart.

“She is 100 percent on board now, and she’s one of my biggest fans and she’s wanting to do anything she can to help," Evans said.

Since the crash and stories on News4, he’s received endless support.

“I still get a lot of people reaching out to me through my Facebook page. I still get a lot of people reaching out to me through me via phone and just through other friends," Evans said.

What he wants the most though is for people to not see him for the wheelchair he's in, but for the man and personality in it.

“That's one of the things I really hope in the future. That the general public or wheelchair people aren't an abnormal thing,” Evans said.

Anthony Poplar faces a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon. Evans said his court date is coming up soon and he plans to be there to testify.

Previous stories:

Man barricaded earlier charged with critically injuring Nashville nurse in hit-and-run
Nashville Nurse who spent decades helping others now needs constant care

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