Tony: I was working on a multi-million dollar house. It was right around Christmas in 2009. They had a leak and I was helping fix the chimney. The ladder kicked out from underneath me and I fell thirty feet on to their wood deck. I thought I was dead but I’d just shattered my ankle. The doctor said I’d never walk again.
BW: How did you walk again?
Tony: Grady hospital and God almighty. Yeah… three years later and four surgeries later.
I went to Emory first and they said that my ankle had been shattered and nothing could be done. Then I injured my leg after that, trying to learn to walk with a brace, and went to Northside. They just wrapped me up and sent me away because I didn’t have insurance. So when it healed, it healed totally wrong. It healed crooked and short.
So that’s where Grady came in. They had to cut my leg, untwist it, stretch it and put it back together, now I’m standing here before you.
BW: So, how did you wind up out here?
Tony: I’m not going to say that the fall caused me to be homeless but navigating this world in a wheelchair for three years isn’t an easy thing and it made it really hard to find work. I actually went to school last year for welding.
The cure for depression is a fall from a chimney. I was a very depressed person for a while before the fall.
BW: You seem very happy for someone who is staying outside most of the time.
Tony: You become thankful for the little things. Appreciation is a great gift.
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I asked Tony what would help him and he explained to me that he actually had a lot of experience as a welder, even before going to school for it. He has no felonies or anything else that would keep someone from hiring him. He did say that he would need to work in a fabrication shop as opposed to working out in the field, because of the limitations with his leg. I know how to get in touch with Tony and will be happy to pass along any leads.