Originally our goal was to provide a healthy environment for my family and a place for my son to dwell when he was diagnosed with a skin disorder called Vitiligo. Vitiligo is the breakdown of skin pigment, resulting in patches that easily burns in sunlight, additional symptoms include a lower immune system that result in frequent illnesses and the inability to enjoy outdoor activities for long periods of time. In the beginning, my family was so excited to begin hiring contactors for the construction of an addition to help manage these new medical needs, along with completely updating our existing undersized home. The process was to take only 3 months. Our excitement waned with the results of the addition, the walls had been improperly constructed and had huge gaps allowing sun light through in the corners, the basement was covered in a foot of mud, the electrical wiring had been partially finished, and the plumbing was inadequate. The existing home was left completely gutted making that also inhabitable. At that point, the contractors that were paid had left without finishing the job correctly or took the down payment without ever returning I thought things could not get any worse, until our house was broken into. Everything was completely gone. The building supplies and home improvement materials, just to name a few – appliances, tub, shower, vanities and roof-deck-porch materials were stolen. The lines to two brand new heat pumps were cut and the units were removed from the side of the house as well as the air handler in the basement. The insurance company cancelled the home owner’s policy without paying to replace anything. The reason given was that no one was living in the home. Once again, I started over saving every dime. I was working at my dad’s business as a bookkeeper. My dad began to help repair the home by putting up a retaining wall to stop the mud from flooding the basement and had started on the repair of the construction malfunctions. Unfortunately, my dad’s health took a turn for the worst. Within one week his kidneys had shut down, he had a triple bypass surgery and if that wasn’t enough half of his colon had to be removed. With a lot of prayers, he survived but has never been the same. The company that he had built was close to the end. I knew in my heart the more the business went down, he would as well. I spent every penny I had saved to help my parents who had always been there to help me in the past. We struggled for months to keep our family business open, but without my father being able to work anymore, sadly we closed the door. Just as our family was struggling with all of these issues, my son was accidently shot with a 20 gauge shot gun by his 12 year old cousin. My son nearly died, he was rushed into the operating room with a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen and countless pellets lodged throughout his chest cavity. The doctors performed exploratory surgery making over a 12- inch incision from his chest down to the lower part of his belly button, inserting a chest tube, removing 22 pellets from his stomach. The doctors had to leave 2 pellets in his kidney, 1 in the lower diaphragm of his heart, over 100 were left in his chest cavity, and numerous pellets lodged from his hip down to his toes. With a lot of prayers, and love he pulled through a risky three hour surgery. Over three years has passed, the recovery has been slow, with pellets still surfacing periodically, pushing through the skin on his back /side, as well as severe panic attacks accompanied by a low immune system that has delayed his healing processes. He has endured a great deal throughout the dramatic events that have transpired; the combination of all the effects to his body has left him with less than 50% of his pigment remaining. My son is strong and pushed himself to finish high school in a social environment but is now currently taking online classes. We are currently living with my parent’s in their water damaged basement which causes mold, which is not helping to improve my son’s health, and additionally putting my daughters as well as my own health in danger. I am consistent with the fight for employment but have constant setbacks with our small town’s economy. I have now come to the realization that I will not be able to fix my home on my own. I contacted numerous organizations to seek help in the repair of our home, but have come to find that Pittsylvania County has very limited opportunities for people in need of assistance repairing an unlivable home. I pray, reaching out for anyone that is willing to open up their hearts and contribute in lending a helping hand to my family’s desperate need of rebuilding our home.
Thank You and God Bless, Marcia Bradner