He’s rushed to help others who have lost their homes—Now he’s in danger of losing his.
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 make a donation by check, visit any Digital Federal Credit Union branch and make the check payable to Carl Ellis Relief Fund.