CURRITUCK COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — A Currituck County family is asking for community members’ help after a stroke of bad luck.

Chelley Fisher has worked as a local paramedic for 11 years. A little more than a month ago, she severely injured her hand. She’s been out on disability as she recovers, taking a pay cut, and the bills are piling up.

Since becoming an EMT at 18, Fisher has always enjoyed helping people. She’s spent the last decade as a critical care paramedic for American Medical Response. Fisher transferred patients between hospitals until she hurt her hand on July 31.

“I injured it moving a couch,” Fisher explained.

Fisher says her training kicked in and she knew instantly the wound was serious.

“My hand got wedged between the couch frame and the door and before I could say stop, someone just shoved and my hand slid across a metal hinge and it cut it open into the first fat layer. I come to find out later, it also hit nerves,” Fisher recalled.

Fisher got five stitches and an infection that contributed to nerve damage.

“I can’t do things like squeeze water out of a washcloth because that hurts significantly,” Fisher stated.

Since the injury, Fisher has been out on disability, but has taken a significant pay cut, even going two weeks without pay before her benefits could kick in.

“I have literally a $0 paycheck,” Fisher said.

While treating her hand, Fisher says her family has fallen behind on their electric bill and was told by Dominion Energy that if they don’t pay 35% of their bill by September 21, their power will be shut off.

“Normally it’s not a problem but I got injured and it’s a downhill motion of crazy,” Fisher stated.

Now they’re scrambling to come up with $2,900 and don’t qualify for assistance for most organizations and government programs since they make too much. Fisher told 10 On Your Side she has an old house and averages $700 on her electric bill in the winter and summer months. Her family’s had trouble keeping up with high bills but have been on a payment plan and were making monthly contributions toward the amount.

“Where I’m at in Currituck County, there’s not a lot of resources down here. Social services called me. We don’t meet qualifications,” Fisher explained.

Fisher is getting desperate. Her husband is a disabled veteran and they have two young children at home. Fisher wants to get back to work as soon as possible, but can’t until her hand fully heals.

“We have some pretty hefty lifting requirements. The stretcher weighs about 300 pounds. It’s on a fulcrum so you’re lifting about 200 but you have to lift and move a 75-pound sled and then you have to lift 20-pound monitors in each hand and move around. We move people all the time, so having problems just squeezing water out of a washcloth probably means I shouldn’t lift people right now,” Fisher said.

Once she’s back to work and in a better financial place, Fisher says she wants to start a local assistance program in Currituck to help those in need like her.

10 On Your Side reached out to Dominion Energy to see if there’s anything they could do to help. A spokesperson sent us the following:

“Our hearts go out to this family. We have been working with them for quite some time doing what we can to help. All of our customers are eligible for payment arrangements, extensions, and energy savings tips. At this point, we are investigating to see what other resources may be available to them.”

If you’d like to make a donation toward the Fisher’s electric bill you can call 833-281-1507 and say you’d like to make a payment toward account no. 1749302491.