Wheelchair ramp turned total home renovation project nearly done - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Wheelchair ramp turned total home renovation project nearly done

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"I can't really express it in words," said Mary Davis. "Words are not enough."

For the first time in 31 years, Davis has a home with central heating and air that's easy for her to get into and out of. Davis is the widow of a World War II veteran.

"Now I can really cook," said Davis. "I was cooking before, but now I can really cook."

After losing a leg to diabetes, some volunteers came forward to build Davis a wheelchair ramp. Then things got cranked up a notch.

"As we started tearing things out, the project got bigger and bigger and bigger," said Bill Hefty with the Greater Columbia Marine Corps Foundation.

He said the house needed lots of work: lead paint had to be removed and mold had to be remediated. It turned into a volunteer version of The Money Pit. After other volunteers left, the Marines hung around.

"We accepted the job so as people fell off, and it was a long time, 5 weeks," said Hefty. "We said we accepted this job and we're going to finish it."

More than a month later, Davis' house is finished, up to code and ready to be furnished.

"It took us a little longer and we're behind in our private lives a little," said Hefty. "But this was more than worth it."

"I've always said God is good and he's really been good to me," said Davis.

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