Community comes together to assist veteran’s home repair

OKEECHOBEE — Frank Sullivan, the Korean War veteran whose house was damaged by a tree and subsequent weather conditions since Hurricane Irma, is the recipient of a home repair effort done by the people of Okeechobee.

According to Gregg Maynard, 434 sq. ft. of Standards Lucerne gray 8.5 mm laminate floating floor panels plus transition strips worth a total of $1,125 were donated from Jeanette Harvey of Jeanette’s Interiors for Sullivan’s floor replacement.

Russell Perry, owner of Russell’s New Beginnings LLC, provided $450 of ceiling repair work and drywall installation in the spare bedroom where the roof had mold and was damaged.

“We also provided $300 of vinyl floating floor for both unexpected bedroom floor repairs,” stated Mr. Perry.

Owners of Painting and Pressure Cleaning By Big Lake, Wade and Donna Hunt along with son Wade Watkins, and Doodle Higginbotham donated paint and their labor services for the ceiling and walls in the home.

Alisha Cline contacted Watford Auction Co. and they donated a queen size bed, mattress and boxboard, and bedding was purchased by Ms. Cline from Walmart.

“Melissa Hulett with Hulett’s Pilot/Escort Service donated a new 32-inch Sanyo flat screen television and $150 to the W & W Lumber account that was set up for Frank. An additional $40 was given by an unknown/unnamed individual. The total $190 was used for baseboard and backsplash for the kitchen,” Mr. Maynard stated.

Jules Parker provided new window curtains for the kitchen and living room areas. She also set up the photos in the living room and Sullivan bedroom.

Royals Furniture set a price of $500 on a new love seat and three-seater couch for Sullivan’s home. The furniture was paid off through donations from Mira Realty, Steve Dobbs, Big Lake Mission and cash donations from anonymous persons.

Gregg Maynard (left) and Frank Sullivan (right) stand in Mr. Sullivan’s newly renovated living room. Damage from hurricane Irma had caused Mr. Sullivan’s home to become unsafe to live in until local members of the community stepped up to help the veteran repair his home. Photo by Richard Marion.

Mr. Maynard donated approximately $300 for bedroom baseboards, paint primer and felt paper for use under the new floor. He also gave Mr. Sullivan a kitchen table with chairs, a recliner chair for the living room and an electronic fireplace. The gofundme account Maynard set up for Mr. Sullivan generated $169.18 after fees were applied and will be provided to Mr. Sullivan to use as he sees fit. “Ray Kolinoski has been a big help with some of the labor needs done around the home as well,” Mr. Maynard stated of additional help on site.

Paradise Cleaning Company owner, Emily Ard, stated, “We will be visiting Mr. Sullivan’s house twice this month and once a month after that. We will continue our services for him as long as he wishes us to be there. We try to tailor our services around what the client wants so we can check his a/c filters, clean his laundry and make his life a little bit easier.”

A Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA) spokesperson said the VNA did not suspend their nursing visits to Sullivan’s home to treat his chronic conditions as prescribed by his doctor. Their nursing staff continued to visit the home following Hurricane Irma and offered to help him find a new residence, but Mr. Sullivan did not wish to leave his home. “What we did suspend were his bath visits, due to the home health aide assigned to his case becoming physically ill from the mold in his home,” said the spokesperson. The VNA representative stated that their number one priority will always be their patients, but they also must protect the health of their employees, which includes removing them from unsafe situations.

Mr. Maynard said he has also helped Mr. Sullivan set up an appointment for late January next year to meet with a Veteran’s Administration (VA) representative for any needed additional assistance.

Frank Sullivan received new furniture along with the repair done to his home. The roof was so damaged from hurricane Irma that his old furniture became completely water logged. Photo by Richard Marion.

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