Family who gives to others receives ultimate gift
Builders Care, with the help of local Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) members and volunteers, has completed renovations at the North Fort Myers home of Daniel Thornton, an accident survivor, and his family.
Throughout their lives, the Thornton family has given their time and services to help others. Their father, Butch Thornton, served in the Vietnam War and their mother Katherine spent many years working at the Shriners’ organization. Their daughter Tracey, age 36, is a nurse and youth ministry leader, and 42-year-old son Chuck is a bone marrow donor and avid volunteer.
Now Builders Care and building partners have provided a special gift to the Thornton family to help their son Daniel, age 38, left paralyzed following an ATV accident. Daniel’s primary form of mobility is a wheelchair and until now, Daniel has not been able to complete daily tasks without assistance. Until recently, Daniel’s parents have been his primary caretakers. Following their father’s diagnosis with lung cancer, other members of the Thornton family have stepped into assist during this difficult time.
To provide wheelchair accessibility in Daniel’s bathroom, volunteers renovated the existing five by 9 foot bathroom including removing walls in order to construct a larger handicap accessible bathroom to include a roll-in shower and grab bars. Since Daniel is paralyzed on his left side of his body, this bathroom was specially designed for Daniel to use his right side to complete daily tasks on his own. Eighteen local businesses contributed to the project and donated construction management services, design services, plans, carpentry, plumbing, fixtures, lighting, tile, paint and more.
Amidst family, friends and volunteers, Butch Thornton, Daniel’s father, shared his appreciation for his newly renovated home. “I find myself in a place I have not been before asking for help. You are a tremendous group of people and we are so fortunate to have this for our family,” he said. “If it were not for all of you, I am not sure what we would have done.”
Daniel Thornton has trouble with his speech since the accident. Katherine Thornton, Daniel’s mother, shared her heartfelt thanks with the group and how Daniel felt about this gift. “Knowing that this many people cared to do this for him has made him like a new person. We can never thank you enough,” she said. “He is able to take care of his personal needs on his own for the first time in 10 years. He absolutely loves it.”
Richard Durling with Marvin Development spear-headed the project and led building partners to complete the project in just nine days. Other contributing partners included Allied Portables, Cape Coral Plumbing, Coastal Building Materials & Dock Supply, Ferguson, FTM Construction, Inc. Gerwitz Construction, Lee County Building Department, Mini-Metal, Inc., Nilles Design, Specialized Carpentry, Suncoast Contractor’s Supply, Truly Nolen of America, Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings, Westcoast Structural Concrete & Masonry, Xcel Painting and Young’s Electrical Contracting.
Volunteers also presented a special bonus to Daniel that included a mosaic tile piece created with tiles from the original bathroom that was installed by Daniel before the accident.
The Thornton home is project no. 126 for Lee BIA Builders Care, increasing the total emergency construction services provided to over $1.9 million since 2006. Photos of this project and previously completed projects can be found on the web site at www.LeeBuildersCare.org
Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its objective is to provide emergency repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout LeeCounty. Most recent top corporate sponsors include Stock Development. Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Suite 104 in Fort Myers. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. inFort Myers. Moreinformation is available by calling 239-938-0056.