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

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

No unused COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste at the end of… Continue reading

Where urban and natural landscapes meet can be a very interesting place. The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a talk on Earth Day on that topic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Where urban and natural meet

Earth Day talk looks at urban biodiversity

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

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

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read