Disabled Ann Arbor woman gets ramp at home built after WXYZ takes action

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 18:18:27-04

“I can come out paint, plant flowers, and maybe sprinkle some grass seeds.”

It’s a dream now finally inching closer to reality -- a ramp that allows wheelchair-bound Sarah Tankson to freely enter and leave her home.

“This ramp gives me life. It’s not just a piece of wood,” Tankson said.

When we first introduced you to the Ann Arbor resident, she was on her hands and knees, without the money needed to pay for a wheelchair accessible ramp.

Soon after Channel 7 aired that story, a gracious donor and builder came forward.

Anthony Darrington happens to be the pastor of a Detroit church that took up an offering to pay for the materials, kindness which left Tankson speechless.

"I don’t have words, and when you don’t have words, that’s the greatest love you could ever have," said Tankson, emotionally.

Darrington said he felt compelled to help while thinking back to his former days as an injured US marine.

"I spent 26 months off my feet, so I understand the physical challenges."

But getting the ramp built didn’t come without a struggle, Tankson telling Channel 7 that the apartment’s management company, Group Five, inexplicably delayed the construction.

Our Taking Action news team went out to question Group Five earlier this month, and they turned us away without comment.

But soon after our Channel 7 story aired, the apartment building agreed to allow for the ramp to be built.

Regardless, Tankson says the delay -- which forced her to crawl on numerous occasions -- ultimately took a big toll on her health. And she’s now filing a lawsuit against the company, citing economic losses, personal injuries, and humiliation.

In a statement to WXYZ, Group Five responded to our questions on the delay saying, “We had concerns about the safety of having a ramp with the slope that would be required at that location.”

As for the lawsuit, they say they’re committed to a positive solution for everyone involved.