Disabled woman in Aurora becomes prisoner in own home because of snow

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AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora woman who is recently disabled becomes a prisoner in her own home anytime there's a big snowstorm.

A pile of snow blocks the access to her garage and she says her homeowners association was doing nothing about it.

Pattie Davis Overton reached out to FOX31 Denver’s Problem Solvers for help.

“It’s just been a nightmare,” Overton said.

A botched surgery eight months ago has left her with a dead leg. It has been difficult for her and her husband to deal with her sudden disability.

“I’ve never felt this disregarded and less than a person than I have recently,” she said.

But it’s made worse, she said, by a lack of action from their HOA, Community Management Specialists.

“This situation I’m dealing with the last eight months is difficult enough. You’re making my life that much more difficult,” she said about the HOA.

“She’s at a point where she’s almost given up. I’ve begged them and begged them to do this,” said Overton's husband, David Overton.

What they’ve asked is the HOA to remove a mound of snow blocking access to their garage.

“I am just trying to make it to where my wife can get to our vehicle and go to our appointments. She had a doctor’s appointment again this morning. We had to cancel it again now, twice because of this,” he said.

It’s tough as it is to get Pattie Overton’s scooter over a step, but David Overton must lift her leg to help her up. But then a mound of snow becomes Mount Everest.

Her frustration turns to tears.

“It’s an easy fix. All they had to do was send a couple of guys out with shovels and move that big heap of snow and that would have been it,” he said.

CMS owner Martha Marusic said she feels terrible landscapers didn’t do what they were supposed to do and said it won’t happen again.

“We did call them several times (Tuesday) and they said they were going to get it taken care of,” Marusic said. “We are on our way out there right now.”

And the HOA kept its word. A crew shoveled a physical barrier that had trapped a woman in her home, lifting a burden she hopes others never have to endure.

“When you see a handicap person, have some compassion, have some compassion, because for the grace of God, it could be you,” Pattie Overton said.

Disability experts said this situation could be a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act because HOAs must keep common areas accessible.

And if they hadn’t resolved this issue, or if it continues to be a problem, the couple could file a federal lawsuit.

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