Quadriplegic mother of four gets help with home repairs
By: Lady Hereford Palm Beach Post Staff Writer • 03/07/06
Kathy Waters doesn’t mind the rain now. She did a few months ago, when her roof leaked so badly the ceiling began to cave in. It got worse and worse, but Waters, a quadriplegic and mother of four, was unable to have it repaired. Patches on the roof only seemed to make the leaks spread. As a temporary fix, a friend covered the roof with a blue tarp. The decaying roof caught the attention of sheriff’s Cpl. Tony Combs, who visited her home in suburban Lake Worth one day. He resolved to find people who would be willing to donate time and materials to replace Water’s roof. After talking to local business owners, he found the help he needed. Everything came together on a Saturday morning last month. With rain clouds threatening, deputies, professional roofers and other volunteers climed on top of the house on Edward Avenue, tore off the old roof and replaced it with a new one. The entire project began just after 7 am and was complete by about 11 am. Not long after that, an afternoon rain shower began. “I haven’t had a drip anywhere,” Waters said.
Everything to complete the new roof was donated. Mark Terlep Roofing, a West Palm Beach roofer, donated manpower and ABC Supply Co. of Lake Worth provided the materials. Other Sheriff’s deputies and country code enforcement officer Ken Jackson also helped. The Solid Waste Authority donated a trash receptacle. Next, Waters’ ceiling will be repaired by Drymension, a drywall contractor in Lake Worth. Combs also is arranging for the inside of the house to be re-tiled and re-painted. “Then when we’re dne with the inside, we’re going to paint the outside.” Combs said. He is talking to more potential donars, including Home Depot. As a finishing touch, a county agency has donated up to $19,000 to install wheelchair ramps. Coincidentally, the day the volunteers showed up was also Waters’ birthday. “That was the best birthday present you could get,” she said.