A Neighbor In Need

He’s rushed to help others who have lost their homes—Now he’s in danger of losing his.

Carl Ellis, at home surrounded by his family

Carl Ellis, at home surrounded by his family

Merrimack, N.H.—When his neighbors and local community needed help, Carl Ellis was always there. Now Ellis and his family are the ones in need.

On November 22, 2014, while working on a Habitat For Humanity project in Hudson, N.H., the scaffolding Ellis was on collapsed. The 25-foot fall caused serious injuries, shattering one femur and causing a compound fracture in the other.

Through three surgeries already—with more to come—Ellis will be unable to work to support his own family of six for a year. “It’s overwhelming,” Ellis’ wife Amber, explained. “The mortgage, heating, food—those things don’t wait.”

To meet some of the family’s financial needs, she has left her part-time job as a bus driver to work full-time in Ellis’ business. “Of course that means I’m not able to be home as much to help Carl.”

Doctors predict it will be as long as nine months before Ellis will be able to walk again, and a year before he’ll be able to return to work in any capacity.

In particular, “These next few weeks are important,” Mrs. Ellis explained. “He’s got a follow-up and some tests. Then we’re hoping they’ll schedule the next bone graft surgery.”

Along with the physical obstacles from the injury, Ellis struggles being housebound. Over the last decade, Ellis has jumped at every chance to help a neighbor in need, serving for years on the board of Habitat for Humanity and taking part in building projects across New England.

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita brought devastation to Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, Ellis volunteered with the non-profit recovery organization, Eight Days of Hope, to rebuild homes. A year later, he went back a second time.

Between 2006 and 2011, Ellis took three trips to Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama to restore communities destroyed by tornados and flooding. Then, in 2014, Ellis and his wife Amber packed up their daughters for a two-week trip to help tornado victims in Tupelo, Miss.

It was just a few months after the Ellis family returned that Carl suffered the fall. After a month away recovering, first in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and then in Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Nashua, Ellis was able to return home just in time for Christmas, where he was greeted by a welcome sight:

“The guys that I’ve worked with since 2006 took time away from two of their normally scheduled work days to come and build me a beautiful ramp, and they don’t care about getting the credit, but I want them to,” said Ellis.

Friends from Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity constructed a wheelchair access ramp at Ellis’ house to help in his recovery.

While Ellis and his family are thrilled he’s home, they know road to recovery will be long and difficult for everyone.

YOU CAN HELP!

To support the Ellis family, go to http://www.gofundme.com/carlellis. For regular updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/CarlEllisReliefFund.

To make a donation by check, visit any Digital Federal Credit Union branch and make the check payable to Carl Ellis Relief Fund.

 

 

That’s A Wrap!

One more slate of picks and this regular season comes to an end! Of course, for some fans, our teams quit playing weeks ago. Now comes the fun part–playoffs and coaches getting fired!

So who wins the drag race to fire their coach first? New York Jets? I’d say they’re odds on favorites. Although it does sound like the Niners want to see Harbaugh out of the building pretty fast–and for what? Those fools! Maybe they’ll hire … Rex.

My Bucs can actually get a win for me today, by losing! We lose, we pick Marcus Mariota with the number one pick. We win today … and Bucs’ fans will consider it the worst loss of the season! So, do us right Lovie! LOSE!

Here are my ‘laugh-this-one-into-the-books’ picks for Week 17: Ravens over Browns, Texans over Jags, Chargers over Chiefs, Dolphins over Jets, Vikings over Bears, Pats over Bills, Eagles over Giants, Saints over Bucs (Puulllleeeeese!), Colts over Titans, Cowboys over Native Americans, Falcons over Panthers, Broncos over Raiders, Pack over Lions, Seahawks over Rams, Niners over Cards, Steelers over Bengals.

Closing In On Number One

Yes, my Bucs are in the driver’s seat for the number one pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. So it’s a coin-flip: Heisman winner 2014 or Heisman winner 2013? The Bucs can’t go wrong, can they? Let me count the ways!

1) The could win. I know it’s a long shot, but a win in either of these last two weeks could botch the plan. We need the Bucs to be the Yucs two more Sundays.

2) They could lose out, get the number one pick and … trade it away to Chicago for Jay Cutler. You think I’m kidding. Lovie Smith, Jay Cutler, loyalty, friendship … we’ve seen it before (clears throat … Josh McCown). If I were a betting man, I’d bet we see Cutler in pewter. Mark my words.

3) They could get the pick, choose Jameis Winston (Heisman ’13) and … see him arrested before he ever hits the field for the Bucs.

Well, let’s leave my Buccos and their problems go. As we say in Buccaneer circles, “There’s always next year. And the decade after that.”

This week, I’m locked in! Here are the “season-coming-to-an-end-coaches-heads-gonna-roll” picks for week 16: Jaguars over Titans (now there’s a meaningful game, eh?); Eagles over Native Americans; Chargers over Niners; Panthers over Browns; Lions over Bears; Ravens over Texans; Dolphins over Vikings; Falcons over Saints (and yes, that means a below .500 NFC South champ!); Patriots over Jets (see ya Rex!); Steelers over Chiefs; Packers over Bucs (that a way boys!); Giants over Rams; Cowboys over Colts; Bills over Raiders; Seahawks over Cards; Broncos over Bengals.