Community Helping as Man Recovers From Tree Accident

Reporter: Sally Delta

Appomattox Co., VA - People in Appomattox County are rallying together to bring a man back to health.

Back in February Paul Mullins was nearly killed while trying to cut up a tree in his backyard. He's been in the hospital ever since.

His wife says doctors say there's not much they can do to help him, but she and his coworkers at VDOT continue to believe he will have a full recovery.

He's still got a long way to go and his medical bills continue to build, but they insist on staying positive.

On February 10 Cheryl Mullins was headed home from work when she saw an ambulance pull into her driveway.

"When I got there he was sitting up beside the tree, bleeding from mouth ears and nose, he could not see, his eyes were swollen shut," she said.

Her husband Paul Mullins has plenty of experience cutting trees. But on this day something went terribly wrong.

"The limb had hit him in the back of the neck and threw his face into the tree itself, and that's what crushed the front of his face," said Cheryl Mullins.

Paul was rushed to the hospital.

"I don't think they gave us much hope. They said he'd be institutionalized for the rest of his life, they gave me very little hope of him walking and talking or being normal to any extent," she said.

That was news that Paul's wife and coworkers refuse to accept.

"I come out here every morning and pray at this barrel for Paul," said Louis Mayberry, Paul's co worker.

They put this traffic barrel out in his parking spot to hold his place.

"I didn't want anyone parking here until Paul came back to work because our goal is for Paul to come back to work," said Mayberry.

Paul has improved slightly. He is talking and moving his arms and legs. His co-workers have put up their own money to help with his medical expenses and have scheduled several benefits to raise even more.

Cheryl says she couldn't have gotten through this without their love and support.

"You want to help out your brothers and sisters, and we want him and Cheryl to concentrate on recovery and not on bills," said Mike Crawford, from VDOT.

Paul is currently on both breathing and feeding tubes, and right now there's no word on when or if he will be able to come home. So medical bills will continue to be an issue.

If you'd like to help, go to the Paul R. Mullins Benefit Facebook page.

**The Paul Mullins Benefit to be held on September 8, 2012 @ Courtland Field in Appomattox from 4-8 p.m. The event will be alcohol free and feature Southland Band.