Handicapped accessible house nears completion
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Seven months ago a fund was set up to help build a handicapped accessible house for the Billy Dale McDonald Family of Oak Ridge. Two weeks ago the foundation for that dream house was laid and this week the walls are going up.
McDonald has struggled with mobility in the double-wide manufactured home he now occupies with his wife, Karen, and stepdaughter, Ashley Boackle, 13. With that in mind his former employer, Anthony McCay of McCay’s Custom Homes, was contacted last January and asked if he would be willing to build a handicapped accessible house for the McDonald family. He agreed to do so and went a step farther by offering to provide the labor at his cost if friends and neighbors would set up a fund to help buy the materials needed.
Subsequently, the Billy Dale McDonald Building Fund was set up at Family Security Credit Union in Hartselle where Karen McDonald is employed. The fund is still active and contributions may be made at any Family Security location.
McDonald, 49, was working for McCay as a floor finisher when he was seriously injured in a job-related explosion in Huntsville on Sept. 24, 2004. He and a co-worker were using chemicals to remove glue from a subfloor when the fumes ignited. With second and third degree burns over 50 percent of his body, he spent 11 months in the UAB burn unit in Birmingham and another two months in rehab and a nursing home before he was able to return home.
The loss of his fingers and a leg left him confined in a wheelchair and unable to work. He is now receiving disability payments from the Social Security Administration.
The McDonald’s new house is bring built on their property behind their existing home. It will have four bedrooms and two baths as well as a front porch and a screen-in back porch. Their old house will be put on the market and sold.