One year ago today, Ronnie Sands was nearly electrocuted while working on the set of Selma in Georgia. Unable to work and struggling to get by on his Workers’ Comp benefits, he’s now broke and facing eviction. He is marking the anniversary today after his regularly scheduled rehabilitation appointment by appearing in court to fight the eviction notice he received two weeks ago. “It has not been a good year,” he told Deadline.
Sands was setting up lights for the civil rights drama at the historic Wheat Street Baptist Church in Atlanta on June 4, 2014, when he was struck by 18,000 watts of electricity. He survived but hasn’t been the same since. “I’ve been offered jobs time and time again,” he said, “but I have to turn them down because I am not approved to go back to work. I have ringing in my head, headaches and the loss of mobility in my right hand.” He hasn’t worked a single day in the past year.
Sands receives $2,100 a month in Workers’ Comp, but that barely covers his rent and utilities, with little left over for food and gas for his truck. His fiancée, Kelly Shure, has put out an urgent call for help. “Ronnie is very, very lucky to be alive today,” she wrote on his Go Fund Me page, which she set up in December and has raised $10,835 — though that’s all gone now.
“I started his campaign in December, and many of Ronnie’s brothers and sisters in his union have stepped up and helped him,” Shure wrote. “However, all of his donations have been exhausted due to the fact that he was already behind on several months of rent and other bills. Ronnie really needs your help! I am asking for help from anyone to help with getting his story out to the rest of the world and also to help him while he is still getting his medical treatment.”