Reposted fro an online story By Eva ZymarisCONNECT
Kevin O’Brien is currently forced to use stairs to access his Chicopee apartment. This makes it impossible to use his electrical wheel chair that the VA provided.
CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) –
A disabled veteran is in desperate need of a ramp to get in and out of his Chicopee apartment, but the property owner is putting up a fight.
The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has offered to install the ramp for Kevin O’Brien, but the property managers say it can’t be done.
According to the O’Brien family, the property management company said the ramp would detract too many parking spaces from the other tenants.
O’Brien joined the military when he was 17 years old. He was stationed at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield when his military service was cut short after doctors found a malignant brain tumor.
“I was in the military for seven years, and I got brain cancer,” O’Brien said. “Now I have some issues walking and doing stuff.”
The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has offered to install a ramp for Kevin to help him get in and out of his apartment in Chicopee.
Right now, he uses a walker and a wheelchair to get around, which O’Brien said has been difficult.
The VA has also provided O’Brien with an electrical wheelchair that he hasn’t been able to use.
“The ramp is important because it’s hard to get the electric wheelchair up the stairs because they’re so heavy,” O’Brien said.
The O’Brien family said the owners of the property, Good Ol Daves, LLC, doesn’t want a ramp to be built.
“They feel they’re going to lose too many parking spaces,” said Betty O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien’s mother and full-time caregiver. “He’s been through so much already, and to have this on top of it. We’re not asking for them to pay for it, the VA is going to pay for it. We’re not asking for them to install it or maintain it, we’re just asking for permission to put it.”
Western Mass News reached out to the property owner and even visited the address listed on the deed.
We also left numerous messages with the property management company, Eagle Crest Property Management.
All questions went unanswered.
The O’Brien family said the ramp, which would be semi-permanent, could be built in a day and taken down in a day if O’Brien were to move