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Veterans rally to aid of one of their own injured on the job

The veteran community is rallying to help one of their own.

James Lipski, a U.S. Air Force veteran and owner of Pahrump’s Exclusively Yours Handyman Service, was on a roof performing work at a home in the Mountain Falls community when he lost his balance and fell roughly 12 feet to the ground.

A split-second loss in footing has put the handyman out of work for many weeks, resulting in a loss of income.

Lipski had just finished working on Larry Puchala’s home across the street last Tuesday. Puchala said he was watering his flower garden when he witnessed Lipski fall to the ground.

“I saw him across the street on the roof of the home. All of a sudden I heard a big shout,” Puchala said. “As he was falling, his leg caught the ladder and the ladder fell onto the concrete. His head and shoulders hit the ground.”

Puchala said he immediately rushed across the street while dialing 911.

“He doesn’t even remember falling from the roof,” Puchala said. “I rushed over and saw that his head was bleeding from the back because it hit the rocks and his hand was cut.”

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene and transported Lipski to Desert View Hospital. He was later flown to Sunrise Hospital.

Puchala said he learned Lipski suffered very serious injuries.

“He had three broken ribs and something is wrong with his spine,” he said. “He was in a lot of pain and they put six staples into his head. I spoke with his wife and she said they took an MRI and it wasn’t as bad as they originally thought, but he’s going to be in a back brace for 12 weeks and won’t be able to work to support his family.”

Fortunately for Lipski and his wife of 20 years, Joy, support came from a member of Pahrump’s Disabled American Veterans Chapter 15.

When retired veteran Dale Ledeman learned of Lipski’s situation, he began making calls to assist Lipski and his wife.

Though he doesn’t know the Lipskis, he felt compelled to help the family. He learned about Lipski’s injuries on social media.

“I got the first call because he is a veteran,” Ledeman said. “His wife put the information on Facebook and somebody called me. I’m not sure exactly who it was.”

Ledeman said he also reached out to area churches in the community to draw additional support.

One Pahrump business, he said, stepped up to provide assistance to the Lipskis.

“I tried to keep low profile but most of the stuff that I get free for people’s hardships comes from the Cancer Victims Thrift Store on West Street,” he said. “They are very giving. James is a veteran and I am a veteran and we handle and take care of our own, so we are helping to assist this couple.”

Lipski’s wife, who is also suffering from her own health issues, said she can’t believe the outpouring of support from the community.

Additionally, she said she cannot drive and has no family in Pahrump.

“This is a very scary time for us,” Joy Lipski said. “He was our main source of income and we depend on it. He won’t be here for another three weeks or so and I recently went down to Vegas to learn how to put pants on him while he is in his back brace. I’m not mentally there because I’m an emotional wreck.”

Lipski who returned home this week, said he remembers very little about the accident.

“I needed to get down to grab a can of paint,” he said. “I do remember going towards the ladder. Unfortunately, that’s all I remember. I don’t know if I touched the ladder, or what. When I did come to, I remember two paramedics next to me asking me if I knew my name. They were very professional.”

Those interested in providing additional assistance can call Ledeman at (702) 576-4206.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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