Volunteers helping restore home of terminally ill veteran

(Source: WNEM)

A local vet is among many in Mid-Michigan who lost everything after historic flooding last month.

Now a local church is trying to help him in his final days.

A veteran of the U.S. Army is battling a terminal illness and wants nothing more than to live out his days in the comfort of his Midland County home, but the flooding ravaged his home.

The historic floods did not spare Richard Harris' home in Sanford. Initially, he said the entire house looked like a swimming pool.

"The front yard was flooded. The backyard got flooded. And inside here was flooded really bad," Harris said.

It was a hardship, but nothing compared to what Harris has been battling for the past year.

"Well I have brain tumors. I have lunch cancer, stage four," Harris said.

He was given six months to live by his doctors, which he has already outlived.

Now all he wants is to live out his days where he is most comfortable - at home.

"It's been a rough year," Harris said.

A group of volunteers are working to make Harris' wish a reality.

"We got a call that we had a veteran that needed help. So we came up from all over the state," said Skip Maxson, with Michigan Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

Maxson heard Harris' story and with the help of 12 volunteers is working to make sure Harris can go back to living a normal life.

Crews said they should have the house demoed in just two days and are hoping to have the home refinished in just a few weeks.

Harris' daughter said she doesn't know what they would have done if the special group didn't get involved.

"It means a lot. I take care of him and I am going under eye surgery. I'm blind myself in one eye and going blind in my other eye. I just want to see him get his house back together. This means a lot to him," said Linleyann Storey, Harris' daughter.

Through all the trials and setbacks, Harris still has his sense of humor and gratitude.

"I couldn't thank them enough. I really couldn't. We called around and tried to get assistance from everybody and we couldn't find any help anywhere until now," Harris said.

The Southern Baptist relief team is also providing food and other items the family needs.

Harris said Dan Dan the Mattress Man out of Midland has also promised some badly needed mattresses.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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