NEW YORK -- Evelynn Biondo, a 5-year-old girl from Mastic, N.Y., who is severely disabled as a result of being violently shaken at the age of 3 months, had her wheelchair ramp stolen this week, CBS 2 reported.
But a generous carpenter has managed to turn the heartbreak into hope, building a temporary ramp for Evelynn and her mother, Alicia Biondo.
"You got to try to help people out when they are down like this," David Lohr of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., told the television station. On Thursday, Lohr and his son, Cory, 19, brought the wood and completed the job gratis in about 90 minutes.
It gets better: Newsday reported that C&C Home Care of Plainview, N.Y., is donating a permanent ramp and planned to send a representative to the home on Friday.
In 2007, while Evelynn was just an infant, her father hit, kicked and shook her because she was crying. Joshua Cohen admitted to the crime and is serving a 16-year sentence. The notorious case prompted Evelynn's maternal grandfather, Anthony Biondo, to start a Care2 petition calling for a minimum 25-year incarceration in such cases.
Evelynn has the mental capacity of a baby and can't walk or talk on her own, her mother told Newsday. "She's a big girl, and the only way she gets around is in my arms or a wheelchair," said her mother. The ramp is critical to their daily life.
So when Lohr heard about the family's plight on News 12, he decided he and his son had to help.
Biondo told Newsday that a new ramp would have cost $700. "It's the holiday season, and that's not exactly pocket change," she said. "It would have been very difficult."