It started with scary a moment. Tom Cybyske’s wife Darla lost her balance on the garage stairs.
“She fell. She fell into my arms,” Tom said. “It’s kind of hard, too, because I’m an amputee.”
Sgt. Jay Castonguay of the Lakeville Police Department and his crew showed up to help Darla and Tom. While he was there, he hatched a plan.
“I told Tom, ‘What would you think about putting a ramp in here?’ He said, ‘I thought about it, but I’m not sure I can do it,'” Sgt. Castonguay said.
He saw how a simple ramp over a few stairs would be a bridge to safety for Tom as an amputee and Darla who suffers from cellulitis.
“It means freedom for my wife, and it means peace of mind for me,” Tom said.
On his day off, Sgt. Castonguay went back to the garage where he was called to just days earlier. This time, not in uniform.
“I loaded up my tools, took the short drive and spent the day in the garage,” he said. “I think the time for both of us was therapy in a way.”
What should have taken just an hour to build, turned into nearly four hours of bonding time for the guys.
“The ramp is beautiful, but the experience I got out of the whole thing was how personable he was, how caring he was about who I was and my story,” Tom said.
“The real heroes are the people who care for the elderly and those who can’t care for themselves,” Sgt. Castonguay said. “The men and women of the military, they are heroes.”
But to Tom, Sgt. Castonguay’s small act of kindness on a Sunday afternoon surely made him the hero.
Tom was able to share a video of the ramp with his wife Darla who is still in the hospital. They hope she’ll be home by the end of the week to try it out.