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Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Neighborhood group bands together to build ramp for COVID survivor struggling to climb her stairs

After battling COVID, getting up and down her front steps was difficult. So the 'Neighbors in Need' group stepped in to help get a ramp installed.

ATLANTA — After six months in the hospital fighting COVID-19, Gwendolyn Bailey, 74, is finally back home in her Reynoldstown neighborhood. 

While her road to recovery may take some time, a special group of neighbors are helping her along the way.

The certainty of Bailey’s recovery was unknown for a while. While in the hospital, she spent time in the ICU, was on a feeding tube and was transferred to five different facilities.

“It was something else. It really was," Tosha Wittaker, Bailey's daughter, admitted as she fought back tears. "When you hear those phone calls any time of day or night coming from the doctors, and you don’t know if she gonna make it. She got real critical. 

“She’s a fighter,” Wittaker described her mother.

Now that Bailey is home, she’s rebuilding her strength and learning to walk again - which made getting up and down the steps to get into her house impossible. 

A group in the neighborhood, called “Neighbors in Need in Reynoldstown” heard the call and got to work. They found a contractor to install a ramp in two days.

“The first time that Miss Bailey was able to come out here and roll down that ramp it was overwhelming. I mean it’s just fabulous it’s just a great program,” Janine Brown, a committee member, told 11Alive's Natisha Lance.

“Neighbors in Need Reynoldstown” was founded in 2018 to assist low-income senior home owners with home repairs. When the pandemic struck, their mission merged with also helping those impacted by COVID-19. 

Bailey’s daughter said she’s never seen incredible neighbors like this before, and she is so grateful for the ramp - but even more grateful to have her mom home.

“I call her a wonder woman," Whittaker said. "Mom, when she had the COVID, a lot of issues came up with it. That’s why I tell anybody: 'wear your mask,' because it’s so important.” 

Now that Bailey is home, she said she is looking forward to getting her vaccine very soon.

For more information on Neighbor in Need Reynoldstown, go to www.rtownin.org.