Recently, Lee BIA Builders Care and community partners came together to build a much-needed wheelchair ramp for a disabled homeowner in need.
Bruce Epps, 60, and his wife, Virginia 62, have lived in their Island Vista Estates mobile home for over 3 years. Bruce spent most of his career in the construction industry until he had an unfortunate accident at work in May of 2020. He had fallen off of a ladder multiple stories high and was found unresponsive. Bruce was admitted to the hospital where he learned the extensive injuries that he had sustained would leave him permanently disabled. He subsequently spent 2 months in the hospital and was finally released on July 2, 2020.
Bruce has since been in a wheelchair and can no longer use his legs to perform daily activities independently. His life quickly became different than it once was.
These unexpected circumstances created major challenges for the Epps given that the only entry to the home were steps he could no longer use. Given his construction background, he attempted to make his own ramp with a thick piece of plywood that he would slide down to get in and out of the home. This was in no way a safe alternative and he was ultimately confined to the home.
After learning about the family, Builders Care and generous community partners and volunteers stepped in to provide a much safer and more accessible wheelchair ramp.
Without hesitation, Derek Mecko and his team at Mecko Concrete & Masonry stepped in to help set the posts and pour a concrete landing pad. In addition to that, All-Star Equipment Rentals & Sales generously provided a concrete mixer for the job. Additional project partners included Raymond Building Supply, who provided the lumber at no cost as well as Thread Source and Grabber of Fort Myers who provided the hardware. The Ramp Design and plans were provided courtesy of Nilles Design Group, Inc.
The ramp was built in just two days and all work was provided at no cost to the family.
Thanks to the generosity of our project partners and dedicated volunteers, Bruce finally has the freedom to easily enter and exit his home safely. The impacts of this ramp not only provides a safe way to access the home, but will also significantly benefit his overall health and well-being. Bruce was elated when he saw his new ramp for the first time and would like to express his utmost appreciation for all involved to make this possible for him. “God Bless You All.” –Bruce Epps
About Lee BIA Builders Care
The mission of Lee BIA Builders Care is to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, who cannot obtain repairs through traditional means. Lee BIA Builders Care offers a full range of no-cost emergency construction services to improve the safety and health for needy seniors and disabled individuals of all ages by enlisting the expertise and donated services and materials of contractors, sub-contractors and businesses. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4.8 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need. Builders Care is funded through financial donations, grants and donated services and materials to provide emergency construction services to qualified homeowners throughout the community. Lee BIA Builders Care is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization under the charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association. Lee BIA Builders Care is headquartered at 6835 International Center Blvd. #4 in Fort Myers. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056, and by following Builders Care at www.Facebook.com/LeeBuildersCare.