Ken and Sandra Murphy came home Sunday.
Their Langley house was almost unrecognizable, the result of a top-to-bottom overhaul by the Acts of Kindness (AOK) Extreme Home Repair initiative.
“Incredible,” Ken said.
“It doesn’t look like the same house.”
In his thank-you, he described how he almost refused the offer when the charitable initiative got in touch.
He thought the man on the phone was a private contractor who wanted to built a needed wheelchair ramp for Sandra.
“I was going to politely tell the contractor I would build the ramp myself,” Ken related.
The man at the other end said, “I think you have me confused with someone else.’
He was Lorne Brown-Miller, the lead project manager, calling to let them know they’d been selected.
The couple lost their son in the summer of 2016, followed by a series of health issues for Sandra. For a while, she was in hospital with serious heart issues, and those health problems eventually led to the loss of her feet and several fingers.
The renovations transformed the Langley City rancher into a home that’s wheelchair and scooter accessible.
Their reno actually happened a year later than planned, the result of COVID restrictions that made assembling large groups of people difficult.
They were able to get it done, with no cases of COVID transmission.
Ken choked up as he expressed his gratitude.
“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all.”
Sandra was astonished by the interior, which had been completely refitted throughout to make the house wheelchair-friendly, including a roll-ins shower.
“It is so perfect,” she said.
“Wow. Wow. Wow.”
There was even a cushion for Panzer, the family dog, in front of the fireplace that bore the message “live,love bark”
Daughter Jillian said the family had been praying for a miracle “and God came through.”
“We’re so grateful you guys said yes,” she told the smaller-than usual crowd.
On Monday, plans were to provide the rest of the volunteers and builders with a virtual tour.
Anderline Bredy, AOK project coordinator, said about 80 per cent of the house was redone, by approximately 80 volunteers of various ages and backgrounds.
“Of course, not all at the same time. Some gave a few hours. While 15 volunteers were here everyday of the week,” Bredy said.
“We worked for 26 days between 10 to 12 hours a day.”
“All aspects of this reno was impacted from delayed by one year, setting up health checks, changing our timelines and funding this project.”
The GoFundMe for the Murphy Family – dubbed Acts of Kindness–Extreme Home Repair 2021, is aiming to collect $80,000, and as of early May, it was about 10 per cent of the way to its goal.
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