Sandra and Ken Murphy were stunned when a team from Langley’s Acts of Kindness ministry, along with lifetime friends Lola and Bella Howet, arrived in Sandra’s hospital room in Abbotsford on Christmas Eve with news that their home will be the subject of the 2020 Extreme Home Repair. (Michael Dauncey/Church in the Valley – Acts of Kindness)

VIDEO: ‘Unbelievable’ Christmas gift delivered to ailing B.C. woman in hospital

Acts of Kindness team will be renovating the Murphy home, so new amputee can come home

A recent two-foot amputee from Langley City received an early Christmas gift from Church in the Valley and its Acts of Kindness team on Dec. 24.

Sandra Murphy, with her husband Ken at her side, was in Abbotsford hospital on Christmas Eve – having just lost both her feet and several of her fingers to amputation.

The Langley City couple was surprised when a delegation from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church paid them an unexpected visit, but shocked beyond words when they learned the real motive for the stopover.

Murphys will be the 2020 recipients of the Extreme Home Repair, explained AOK pastor Michael Dauncey.

“We figure this news today could be something to brighten up the negative situation right now,” he said of the decision to announce next year’s recipient just ahead of Christmas.

AOK organizers Lorne Brownmiller was also on hand for the announcement at Sandra’s hospital bedside.

“We believe you guys really deserve a Christmas to remember… you’ve had a rough go,” Brownmiller said.

AOK’s annual Extreme Home Repair program sees a team of businesses and community volunteers go in and retrofit homes for people who cannot afford or are not – for various reasons – able to do the needed restore their home to a safe and liveable standard.

RECENT COVERAGE: Aldergrove single mother given ‘brand new’ start

For the past 17 years now, the Aldergrove-based AOK team has tackled these home renovations, typically taking upwards of two weeks in May. The Murphy home will be transformed between May 1 to 18, Dauncey confirmed.

They’ve done about two dozen such repair and renovation projects for deserving people. The jobs have ranged from small projects such as a new roof to total re-dos, he explained. Up to a few dozen nominations a year are received.

The Murphys, including their adult daughter Jillian, were nominated by Aldergrove’s Bella Howet, and her sister, Lola. The sisters have know the family for 53 years, and Bella was the one to surprise the Murphy’s by announcing the news on Tuesday.

“You guys are the most deserving people I know,” Bella said.

“It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more deserving family,” she added between sniffles and hugs.

“I can’t believe this. Nothing like this has ever happened to us,” Sandra said, turning away from her guests to hide the flood of tears she kept wiping away from her face. “It’s so amazing,” she added.

Ken was almost at a lose for words as the reality sunk in.

“It’s so awesome, you guys. Thank you,” he said. “Thank you for just being there like this. This is such an awesome thing.”

Murphys bought a Langley City rancher a few years back, as a fixer-upper project they were going to work on together – Ken being “talented with carpentry,” Dauncey explained.

Sadly, a number of issues arose for the family since then, making the renos impossible – at least short-term. In fact, given Sandra’s amputations, the initial plans for retrofitting the house changed. The only priority was to make it wheelchair accessible throughout, so Sandra could get around in her own home, Bella explained.

“They are a good family with true Christian beliefs and have always opened their house and home to those who needed it. Now they need the help…” she said in submitting the request for the AOK team to help the Murphys.

PAST COVERAGE: ‘Extreme Home Repair’ kicks off in Aldergrove for deserving family

After their son died in the summer of 2016, the loss took its toll on this family, Dauncey elaborated. And through all this, Sandra has battled health issues for many years.

Then, just a few months ago, while travelling in the States, Sandra took sick and ended up in hospital with only 85 per cent of her heart working.

Doctors did what they could to stabilize her, then airlifted her back to Canada.

Because of Sandy’s declining health, Ken left his job to be at her bedside while she was waiting for the amputation of her feet and parts of her hands.

“Not only do they have this on their plate, but now they have a home Sandra can’t return too,” Bella said.

Admittedly, although Ken professed to be “handy,” he knew little of what he would have to do to modify their home so it can accommodate Sandra and her wheelchair.

At the very least, she explained, they’ll need a larger, wheelchair-accessible bathroom, and a ramp to allow access in and out of the house to make it habitable for Sandra.

“I do not know what other problems they will have concerning the house,” Bella added.

Dauncey said the selection of this year’s recipient for the Extreme Home Repair was not as difficult as many in past. The Murphys need help, and need help immediately.

“This has all occurred just in the last few months,” he said. “How devastating to lose limbs like this… this family could really use some help right now… this is definitely a special Christmas gift for them.”

“This is a true blessing,” Sandra said. “I can’t believe this… This kind of thing doesn’t happen to us.”

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sandra and Ken Murphy were stunned when a team from Langley’s Acts of Kindness ministry, along with lifetime friends Lola and Bella Howet, arrived in Sandra’s hospital room in Abbotsford on Christmas Eve with news that their home will be the subject of the 2020 Extreme Home Repair. (Michael Dauncey/Church in the Valley – Acts of Kindness)

Sandra and Ken Murphy were stunned when a team from Langley’s Acts of Kindness ministry, along with lifetime friends Lola and Bella Howet, arrived in Sandra’s hospital room in Abbotsford on Christmas Eve with news that their home will be the subject of the 2020 Extreme Home Repair. (Michael Dauncey/Church in the Valley – Acts of Kindness)

Just Posted

COVID-19: All sports fields and baseball fields in Quesnel now closed

City trails and parks remain open, but users must maintain social distancing space of two metres

Letter to the editor: ‘Do what you can when you can’

Bert de Vink shares some insight into life with dementia

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read