Bathroom remodel and home modifications to improve quality of life for diabetic amputee

Just in time for the holidays, Lee BIA Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) came together with Stevens Construction to grant a Fort Myers resident’s wish for a life-changing bathroom renovation and home makeover. On Nov. 21, community partners and volunteers gathered at the home of Willie Stillman to reveal the many improvements that will help enhance the homeowner’s quality of life.

Stillman, age 61, has lived in his central Fort Myers home since 1972. As an adult, his work ethic and glowing personality led him to a management position with a local McDonald’s restaurant for eight years before he followed his aspirations to become a teacher. He was working as a teaching assistant at Dunbar Middle School when he was diagnosed a severe diabetic, and complications from the disease eventually caused him to lose both legs in 2009. He suffers from visual disabilities, hypertension and renal disease, requiring dialysis support. The older home has created challenges for Stillman in his wheelchair, as the doorways were narrow, and a tiny bathroom prohibited him from getting into the tub, which forced him to sponge bathe from the sink for many years.

To help the homeowner live more comfortably, Stevens Construction and their subcontractor partners teamed with Lee BIA Builders Care to make the much-needed home improvements. The project was completed in just one week at no cost to the homeowner thanks to partners at Stevens Construction, who donated their products, services and permitting fees. In addition to Stevens Construction, contributing companies include City of Fort Myers Building Department, Cougar Cutting, D & N Cabinetry, Garden Street Portables, HONC Destruction & Recycling, Juniper Landscaping, Kirkwood Electric, Nilles Design Group, Plumbing Solutions of Southwest Florida, Sunset Air and Home Services, and Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings.

Improvements included an expansion of the home’s only bathroom to accommodate a new roll-in shower, comfort height toilet, custom-built sink and widened doorway, in addition to the construction of a concrete ramp at the front entrance and widened walkways to aid in the home’s accessibility, and the installation of new landscaping.

“We are thrilled to see this home makeover project come together for this deserving homeowner, and we are so thankful for Stevens Construction’s efforts to fulfill this need within the community,” said Christi Pritchett, executive director of Lee BIA Builders Care. “Offering greater accessibility and accommodations to complete day-to-day tasks with ease, the makeover will bring life-changing capabilities for this homeowner – a gift that will be appreciated for years to come.”

About Lee Builders Care

Lee BIA Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its mission is to provide emergency home repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4.25 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need.  Lee 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 Lee County. Lee Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA office at 6835 International Center Blvd., Suite 4, in Fort Myers. The Building Industry Association (www.BIA.net ) is a 63-year-old association affiliated with National Home Builders Association and Florida Home Builders Association that serves to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education and services. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.com. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056. Follow Builders Care at Facebook.com/LeeBuildersCare or on Twitter @LeeBuildersCare.