Members of the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School construction class, under the tutelage of their teacher Mike Mayfield and with the assistance of the Modern Woodman of America, were able to construct a 24-foot ramp in anticipation of Phillip Griffin’s return home from the hospital next week.
“I’m proud to see the work that those kids have done out there today. … It’s excellent,” said Phillip’s father Nathaniel Walker. “It looks great. It looks like a professional job.”
Walker, who has a prosthetic left leg, says that he lost his leg due to blood clots, and that his son was paralyzed the following day in 2009.
Since then, the family has managed as well as possible, but Walker says that carrying Phillip up the stairs leading to their front door has been an ongoing challenge.
“The stairs have been a big obstacle,” Walker said. “We have to carry him up the stairs and in and out of the house. Sometimes I get nervous because I think I’m going to fall.”
After hearing about the family’s situation, LFO work-based learning coordinator Bo Campbell says that arrangements were made to have the students assist the family.
“We first heard about it from another teacher in the area, Bonnie List, who told us about the family’s hardships,” Campbell said. “After that, we got with the Modern Woodman of America, and Home Depot donated the supplies for project and here we are.”
Campbell says that teacher Mike Mayfield and the members of the Modern Woodman are teaching the students how to build more than just a ramp.
“These kids are learning something that they can use for the rest of their lives,” Campbell said. “They’ve got guys here who’ve been doing this a long time showing them how it’s done. They’re also showing them what it’s like to give back, and how to help people in need. That’s something they can take with them from now on and hopefully apply to other situations later in life.”
The crew was fed lunch by Chick-Fil-A in Fort Oglethorpe and was also outfitted for the project with shirts from Home Depot.
The project began around 9 a.m. and was completed by mid-afternoon.
“It’s just been a great day and great project,” Walker said. “I can’t wait for Phillip to see this ramp when he gets home. That’s my baby.… He’s got such high spirits all the time and he’s my Superman. He deserves this.”