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

One person was killed in a two-vehicle crash south of Williams Lake on Highway 97 Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo submitted)
Highway 97 crash south of Williams Lake claims one life

Road conditions at the time were slippery and covered with slush: RCMP

Residents of Riske Creek came to the rescue of a truck driver who slid off Highway 20 in icy conditions with a load of calves Tuesday night (Oct. 27). (Facebook photo)
Riske Creek residents rush to scene of overturned cattleliner on Highway 20 Tuesday night

Residents rounded up cattle and directed traffic in the dark during a heavy snowfall

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Most Read