In construction, like many things, building something from the ground up can be rewarding. One Jacksonville company is finishing a project this week, not because of a paying customer, but because the company's president felt he couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Nicholas Roberts suffered a neck injury following a 2016 crash that left him confined to a wheelchair. His story was first highlighted on First Coast News in August.
That story caught the attention of Steve Betz, the President of Danis Construction.
Betz made a few calls and the company is now days away from completing that ramp -- free of charge -- for the Roberts family.
“He stayed in his chair all day yesterday and actually was able to get outside and enjoy fresh air and sunlight for the first time in two-and-a-half years," said Jennifer Wilkerson, a family friend.
In just a matter of days, Wilkerson says Roberts will be able to enjoy that same fresh air from outside his own doorstep thanks to this wheelchair ramp.
“I’m so excited for him," Wilkerson said. "I know my family is excited, I know that he is excited.”
Every cut, nail and piece of lumber was provided by Danis Construction.
“You have to give back in this world,” said Gordon Steadman, vice president of Business Development at Danis Construction.
Steadman says Betz did not hesitate to pick up the phone after First Coast News’ story aired in August highlighting Roberts need for a ramp so he could return home.
“As Steve brought it up to our attention, everybody in the company got behind it and felt this is really something that we wanted to do," Steadman said.
While some may just see a way to come and go from a house, Wilkerson says it’s much more.
“This just opens a whole range of different opportunities and things for him to have a somewhat normal life," Wilkerson said.
Friday the 13th is often viewed as an unlucky day, but come this Friday, the Roberts family will be thinking just the opposite.
“It’s amazing and it’s awesome," Wilkerson said. "Situations like this just renews your faith in humanity."