Last fall, Chase Oaks Church challenged everyone to think big about creative ways to show others how #LoveDoesTheUnexpected. After receiving some incredible ideas of how to love our community, a few were picked, and people received grants to make them happen.
Chase Oakers Stewart and Lana Sheffield received a #LoveDoesTheUnexpected grant in the amount of $10,000 to support a family whose lives were changed after a devastating accident left one of their own paralyzed.
The Accident That Changed Their Lives
Tom and Myra Hambleton and our families have been friends since our kids were in kindergarten. This summer, we decided that we would go to Florida together. On the last day of the trip, Tom and two of his four children went skydiving.
On Tom’s skydive, his parachute malfunctioned, resulting in a very hard landing. And when he landed, he realized he couldn’t feel his legs. We went to the hospital, we sat with them, we cried with them. We just couldn’t even imagine what was going on behind those closed doors. And the next day, we had to go home. And the moment we got home, we went to their house, and the first thing we did was we fed their dogs.
We played with their dogs, we fed them, we mowed their yard, made sure their pool had water in it. We took in their mail; I talked to Myra every opportunity I could because she was alone and Tom was in tough shape.
Tom spent two weeks in the Pensacola hospital; then, he was [transported by] Medi-Vac to Baylor Scott and White where he spent the next two months. During his rehabilitation at Baylor Scott and White, he was allowed to come home during the day over the weekends. He could only come home during the day because he had to get back there because he had no way to use his bathroom at his own house.
The #LoveDoesTheUnexpected Grant That Transformed Their Home
He couldn’t get through a door with a wheelchair, and we realized that we needed to help do something about that. While Tom was making his way back and forth over the weekends, Lana and I learned about the #LoveDoesTheUnexpected Opportunity Fund at Chase Oaks. A few weeks later, we got a phone call; the call was that Tom and Myra were being granted the $10,000 fund.
I don’t know who actually recommended Dave Huggins, but he walked in and checked out the bathroom, and instantly, he was like I’ve got an idea for how we can solve this problem and he was on it.
“As soon as I saw this bathroom, I said this bathroom cannot be used by somebody that is in a wheelchair, so it’s a total redo.”
I had asked Dave to give me a phone call when he had a general estimate of what the project would cost. He said it was going to be $19,000. I was like, well, Chase Oaks isn’t going to be able to take care of the project. He said that he would be willing to contribute the cabinets, which was going to represent about $4,000 of that and that another lady that he knew of was willing to contribute the other $5,000. So basically, it was going to happen with all of those people contributing. It was pretty awesome.
The Moment That Shifted Their Perspective
“Wow, do you recognize this place?”
“It’s hard to believe.”
We’ve been so blessed to have so many friends and family that stepped up and helped us, especially our friends, Lana and Stewart; we have had to lean on them a lot, and they’ve just helped us get through this really hard time. And there’s so many other people I want to thank, too. And they introduced us to the Chase Oaks family and David.
Imagine you come home from the hospital and you realize your house isn’t compatible with you anymore. You can’t use your bathroom, take a shower, or anything. And then just to see it now, to see it actually come to fruition is amazing. It’s far better than you can even think of. We just were blown away, speechless.
“Thank you, Chase Oaks, for being so generous because you have allowed God’s love to do the unexpected.”
Join Stewart, Lana, and other Chase Oakers in loving others in our community in surprising, unexpected ways. Visit Love Does The Unexpected to find out how you can be a part of this inspiring movement.