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Pickering business helps amputee with ramp donation

John McLellan Contracting Inc. absorbed all costs for ramp and installation

A Pickering man who recently lost his leg is now able to get in and out of his home, thanks to a donation from a local business.

Last June, Thomas Hammond went for surgery on his broken ankle that just wouldn’t heal, expecting to wake up with a rod that would fuse it together.

“When I woke up, my leg was gone,” he said. “It’s been an awful challenge ever since.” In December, he called the City of Pickering because he was having trouble entering and exiting his side-door rental unit. The unit's 10-inch doorstep created a serious barrier for Hammond to navigate using his new walker and crutches. It was unusual for Hammond to feel this way. He cared for his late wife, who had a disability.

“I’m usually the helper, not the helpee,” Hammond said.

Pickering staff reached out through the Pickering Accessibility Advisory Committee to the committee’s Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade representative, John McLellan, for advice or assistance. McLellan promptly visited Hammond and inspected the doorway, and decided to solve the problem. McLellan believes in giving selflessly when he can.

“I got this (portable) aluminum ramp so if Thomas ever does move, he can take it with him," he said.

His construction firm, John McLellan Contracting Inc., absorbed all the costs of purchasing and installing the ramp.

“We had it in for Christmas," McLellan said. "That was the goal.”

Pickering’s accessibility co-ordinator, Tim Higgins, said McLellan is an expert in making renovations to homes in Pickering in order to make them accessible.

“He is not only talented, he has real enthusiasm for it,” Higgins said. “He’s a great team player on our advisory committee.”

Hammond said the donation from his new friend has been a big help for him.

Hammond has difficulty getting around on longer outings — he currently uses a walker or an old wheelchair — and is on the lookout for a new wheelchair.


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