Some people wish for a million of dollars. Shirley Mace simply wished for a handicap accessible bathroom for her husband. Bell-Whitley Community Action Agency helped that wish come true.
“I think it’s a blessing from God,” said Mace. “It’s something that we probably would not have been able to get.”
Shirley’s husband Michael Mace suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke, which has rendered him disabled. Michael said the neurologist from Mayo Clinic said he was fortunate because 85 percent of the people who had what Michael had died, and the other 15 percent were in a vegetable state.
Shirley said Michael can now go to the bathroom by himself using a walker without other assistance thanks to the rails in the bathroom. He can also take a shower without assistance.
“It was the biggest blessing I think we’ve had,” said Shirley.
The process of getting the new bathroom came when Shirley lost her job in February. She said when she went to sign up for unemployment a lady from Bell-Whitley was there. The lady told Shirley she needed to go to Bell-Whitley and sign up for anything they had available.
It was at this time Shirley spoke with Anna Brock, housing counselor with Bell-Whitley. Brock informed Shirley there was a grant available for disabled people who have worked their whole lives. Shirley told Brock they needed a bathroom.
Brock and Norman Cornelius, and later Chuck Stovall, looked at the house. It took a little over a week to complete the handicap bathroom, which was originally two separate bathrooms.
“Losing a job is hard, but I guess taking care of my husband is one thing God wanted me to do, and this (the handicap bathroom) is one way to take care of it,” said Shirley.
Anthony Cloud can be contacted at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.