Life-Changing Renovations for Disabled Vietnam Veteran


Recently, Lee BIA Builders Care and local community partners came together to provide a much needed handicap accessible bathroom for a Disabled Veteran.

George Phillips, 70, is a Vietnam Veteran. For over 30 years, George and his wife Penny have lived in their Fort Myers home, living what most consider a happy and normal life, “The American Dream,” until things changed 5 years ago.

In 2014, George was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. George now has Stage 4 Parkinson’s Disease and is unable to function independently. George is permanently confined to a wheelchair and relies on the aid of his disabled wife Penny, to assist in daily activities. As many can imagine, these unexpected circumstances have created many challenges for the Phillips family.

The bathroom in the home did not accommodate access for his wheelchair and Penny would lift him in and out of the bathtub in order to bathe. George has fallen numerous times and as his condition continued to progress, these circumstances quickly posed a serious risk for the health and safety of both George and Penny.

The Phillips family relies solely on funds from their disability, all of which goes toward basic living expenses and medical bills. The household’s income simply did not provide them the means to make any type of necessary modifications to the home. Despite these ailments, Penny’s nurturing personality and George’s selfless pride and hope continued to keep them going, even on the hardest of days..

After learning about the family, Lee BIA Builders Care and community partners quickly coordinated efforts to provide a much needed handicap accessible bathroom for the Phillips Family. In just 2 weeks, his bathroom was transformed into an accessible roll-in shower.

All labor and renovations were provided at no cost to the family, thanks to the generosity of numerous local contractors who made it possible. Project partners included: Local Contractor and Project Manager Dennis Cowan, Extreme Care/Southwest Builders, Inc., Cape Coral Plumbing, Young’s Electrical Contracting, Inc., Advantage Plastering & Finishing, Wayne Wiles Floor Covering, Suncoast Contractor Supply and Pipestone Painters.

**Dennis Cowan, Project Manager**




By removing the existing bathtub and replacing it with an accessible roll-in shower, George can finally bathe safely and comfortably, without any risk of fall. These accommodations are a blessing and will significantly improve the health, safety and well-being for the entire Philips Family.

George and Penny were at a loss of words after seeing the bathroom for the first time, and express their sincerest gratitude to the generous contractors who made these life-changing renovations possible for them.

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 $4.75 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 More information is available by calling 239-938-0056, and by following Builders Care at