Bathroom remodel and home modifications to improve quality of life for diabetic amputee

FORT MYERS, Fla. (November 22,, 2017) – Lee BIA Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) came together with Stevens Construction to grant a Fort Myers resident’s wish for a life-changing bathroom renovation and home makeover. On Nov. 21, community partners and volunteers gathered at the home of Willie Stillman to reveal the many improvements that will help enhance the homeowner’s quality of life.

Stillman, age 61, has lived in his central Fort Myers home since 1972. As an adult, his work ethic and glowing personality led him to a management position with a local McDonald’s restaurant for eight years before he followed his aspirations to become a teacher. He was working as a teaching assistant at Dunbar Middle School when he was diagnosed a severe diabetic, and complications from the disease eventually caused him to lose both legs in 2009. He suffers from visual disabilities, hypertension and renal disease, requiring dialysis support. The older home has created challenges for Stillman in his wheelchair, as the doorways were narrow, and a tiny bathroom prohibited him from getting into the tub, which forced him to sponge bathe from the sink for many years.

To help the homeowner live more comfortably, Stevens Construction and their subcontractor partners teamed with Lee BIA Builders Care to make the much-needed home improvements. The project was completed in just one week at no cost to the homeowner thanks to partners at Stevens Construction, who donated their products, services and permitting fees. In addition to Stevens Construction, contributing companies include City of Fort Myers Building Department, Cougar Cutting, D & N Cabinetry, Garden Street Portables, HONC Destruction & Recycling, Juniper Landscaping, Kirkwood Electric, Nilles Design Group, Plumbing Solutions of Southwest Florida, Sunset Air and Home Services, and Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings.

Improvements included an expansion of the home’s only bathroom to accommodate a new roll-in shower, comfort height toilet, custom-built sink and widened doorway, in addition to the construction of a concrete ramp at the front entrance and widened walkways to aid in the home’s accessibility, and the installation of new landscaping.