NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - 55-year-old James Evans never needed help sitting up, until now. He lives in Cooksville, TN but is now at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He’s getting assistance to maintain his balance. But with every movement you can see the frustration in his eyes.
“Due to the fact that I have no balance from basically my chest down. I can’t even sit up without somebody holding me up or supporting myself with both arms,” Evans said.
For 30 years he dedicated his life to nursing in Nashville. For the last 6 years worked as a home health nurse.
"I actually love it cause you get to help patients and their families and you get to see how that goes from A to Z,” Evans said.
It's what he was doing back in June when his life changed forever.
"I was sitting on Jefferson Street in my car talking on the phone with my wife. And I don't remember any of it. She actually heard the entire incident where the young man hit me,”Evans said.
Evans says he was parked outside a patient's home on Jefferson Street when a car hit him, pushing him into a telephone pole. Authorities say the driver fled the scene was eventually arrested.
"Next thing I know, I woke up three weeks later at Vanderbilt and uh we were flying out the next day to come to Shepherd Center in Atlanta,” Evans said.
He now has to return home and adjust to life in a wheelchair. Initially he says that his landlord was hesitant about making the home ADA accessible.
"She just recently told my wife that she will allow ramps to be put into the home. So, hopefully that's going to happen very soon,” Evans said.
But are landlords required to do so? Brandon Brown, Executive Director of Empower Tennessee helps people in Evan's situation. He says when it comes to apartment and business yes, but not necessarily if you're renting a home.
“The ADA actually does not cover such a situation like that. And it really is up to the landlord to make that kind of decision about the accommodation that he would provide,” Brown said.
As he continues his road to recover, Evans is trying to come to terms with his new normal.
"I'm at a bubble here. And I'm normal here at Shepherd. I'm normal right outside the community here. So, I'm going to go home. I'm not normal in the community. And, that's going to be the next hurdle,” Evans said.
Our Call 4 Action team provided Empower Tennessee with Evans number. We will continue to monitor his progress and he works to return home to Tennessee.
If you’d like more information about Empower Tennessee, click here.