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Friend gives uplifting gift

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 12th, 2013

Thanks to a good friend, Ruby Summers of Troy Grove gets around easier in her wheelchair with a newly installed lift in her home. (Reporter photo by Jennifer Sommer)

TROY GROVE - On Nov. 4, 2012, Ruby Summers of Troy Grove went to the hospital for a hernia operation. But with complications involving additional surgeries and a stroke that followed, her stay in the hospital was extended. “It’s a miracle that she’s here,” says her husband, Dick.

Three months later, she is at home recovering and doing physical therapy to regain the use of her arms and legs.

Today, with assistance, she can stand and take a couple steps. Each added step is celebrated.

Retired, Dick, spends his days caring for her in their small rural home.

With a bed in the living room and home health care visits, Ruby is mostly confined to her home. But leaving the house for visits to the doctor’s office would have been an obstacle. That is when good friend, Dan Dooley of West Brooklyn, had an idea. They needed an elevator of sorts to get Ruby down the four steps to their sunroom that leads outside.

Dooley, retired, with 31 years as an operating engineer at the College of DuPage, has always been very mechanical. “I’m always thinking how to fix something,” he said.

The initial thought was to build a ramp, but the small lower level sunroom next to the living room was not big enough. “That gave me an idea,” said Dooley. And plans for the lift were underway.

Dooley said his original plan only took 25 minutes to create. But after some considerations, and changes, the lift as it is now installed, was designed.

Dooley built the lift from scratch in his shop first to make sure that it worked properly. Then, with the help of some family and friends, he installed it at the Summers’ house, Jan. 23, the day before Ruby came home.

“I’d do anything for anybody… and the need arose,” Dooley said.

For the complete article see the 02-13-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-13-2013 paper.

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