Woman Forced To Crawl Up Stairs After Elevator Breaks - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Woman Forced To Crawl Up Stairs After Elevator Breaks

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

It is painful, excruciating to watch 63-year-old Phyllis Montgomery crawl the 13 steps that lead from the first floor of her North Philadelphia rowhome to the second.

She takes a dozen medications a day, suffers from brittle bones and heart trouble, and this is how she gets upstairs now that her city-installed elevator has died.

"I loved it," Montgomery said of the elevator. "It was my legs! Oh God, it was heaven. I miss it so much!"

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation installed the $18,000 elevator in Montgomery's home seven years ago, part of its Adaptive Modifications program to help give those with disabilities more independence.

Montgomery says the agency seemed to wash its hands once the equipment was in place.

"No one comes to even say, 'Well, we just came to look, to see if you're abusing it, misusing it. Or are you using it?'" she said.

In January, the elevator stopped working, so Montgomery called the head of the Adaptive Modifications program to report the breakdown.

"He said, 'Motor's going to cost about $3,500.' I said, 'Are you crazy?'"

Montgomery was responsible for the repair costs.

It turns out the contract she signed at the time of installation spells out a three-year warranty for mechanical equipment. But that warranty is mentioned in a portion of the contract meant for the contractor/installer to read and sign—not the client.

That three-year warranty had expired without Montgomery ever knowing it existed.

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon called PHDC to ask about its policy: clients seemingly on their own once the warranty runs out.

Those who couldn't afford the pricey equipment in the first place are now forced to pay thousands of dollars to repair it, with no further help from the agency that provided the initial help.

Nearly four minutes after she began her agonizing crawl up the stairs, Phyllis reaches the second floor, fighting back tears as she cries out, "I made it, Bruce!"

Down below, sits the elevator. Silent. Still. That "heaven-sent" gift is now a hellish reminder of mobility lost.

"Lost and found," says Phyllis. "I found it, then I lost it. And I can't get it back."

The PHDC would not talk to Gordon on camera, but in a written statement, said a tight budget forces them to make tough choices. Providing ongoing financial support for maintenance and repairs to equipment for some clients, they said, would mean others in need would get no help.

In this case, that policy means an $18,000 elevator sits unused. And Phyllis Montgomery must crawl, on her hands and knees, to her second floor.

  • Send Email To FOX 29 News

    Have problems? Tell us.

    FOX 29 News is #GettingResults.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 29 News!

  • Getting ResultsMore>>

  • Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:34:59 GMT
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
  • Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-06-12 02:24:23 GMT
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
  • Veterans' Career Expo Held On Pearl Harbor Day

    Veterans' Career Expo Held On Pearl Harbor Day

    Friday, December 7 2012 6:04 PM EST2012-12-07 23:04:33 GMT
    December 7th, 1941, is of course "a date which will live in infamy." Seventy-one years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II. The assault on the Hawaiian
    December 7th, 1941, is of course "a date which will live in infamy." Seventy-one years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II. The assault on the Hawaiian
  • Bruce Gordon ReportsMore>>

  • SEPTA Rider: Couple With Toddler Seemed "Out Of It" On Train

    SEPTA Rider: Couple With Toddler Seemed "Out Of It" On Train

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:55:19 GMT
    Camera-phone video captured a disturbing scene aboard a SEPTA subway train. The video shows a shoeless toddler in a stroller and witnesses say the adults with her seem to be "out of it." The couple was on a train on the Market-Frankford Line on Sunday morning.


    Camera-phone video captured a disturbing scene aboard a SEPTA subway train. The video shows a shoeless toddler in a stroller and witnesses say the adults with her seem to be "out of it." The couple was on a train on the Market-Frankford Line on Sunday morning.

  • Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:22:14 GMT
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
  • Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-06-12 02:24:23 GMT
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:06:05 GMT
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.

  • Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:04:48 GMT
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
  • New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:22:24 GMT
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices