JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — A Jacksonville father is fighting to get back on his feet after nearly losing both legs during a work accident.
On Saturday, dozens in the community came out for a car wash fundraiser, aimed at helping Chris Skelton and his wife travel across the county for a new brace.
“It’s been a rough road. I’ve had a lot surgeries, a lot of missing time with my family,“ said Skelton, who relies on a cane or wheelchair to get around.
Skelton was working at a metal plant two years ago, when he says a steel beam fell on his legs, pinning them down.
“It took 9 firefighters and a crane to get the beam off of me,“ Skelton recalled. “They [doctors] were talking about cutting both my legs off at first.“
The beam shattered bones in both his legs. Skelton says he’s been through dozens of reconstructive surgeries, but will likely never regain full function of his right leg.
“I’m still missing 6 inches of bone and had to re-grow my bone,“ he added.
Skelton says doctors recommended a brace, that could alleviate his pain and get him back to his normal activities.
“It’s supposed to make me be able to run, jump,“ Skelton explained. “The hardest part is missing my family and not doing the things I’m used to doing.“
The only problem is the getting brace requires Skelton to travel to Washington D.C. where he’ll have to work with doctors and therapists for at least a week. Skelton says it’s a cost his family can barely afford, since the injury cost him his job.
Taking matters into their own hands, his wife Kami and their four children, held a car wash to help foot the bill for travel costs.
The family got special permission from First Arkansas Bank & Trust in Jacksonville, to use their parking lot for the event, which usually only hosts nonprofit.
“He just wants his life back,“ Kami said. “I wouldn’t want to miss this miracle for nothing.“
For Skelton, it’s a small step on a long road to recovery.
“It’s been really awesome how they come together to help me, my wife, and my family,“ he said.