Richmond company offers to help elderly woman with bathroom modifications

Richmond company offers to help elderly woman with bathroom modifications

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's good news for a local woman who talked to us through tears about her need for bathroom modifications to stay independent and, as she puts it, regain her dignity.

Grethel Hershey struggles with crippling arthritis. Now Rebath of Richmond is offering its services free of charge.

Owner Steve Thompson saw our original report and immediately contacted NBC 12 with his generous offer to remake Grethel Hershey's bathroom.

We caught up with Thompson taking measurements and assessing the work ahead of him. Steve talked about his vision with the woman benefiting from his benevolence like old friends chatting on the couch. "We're basically going to take it all out and put everything in there new and you'll have a new low threshold shower in there."

Hershey wants to be independent again and reclaim her dignity.

Right now, her son helps her shower and she's grateful he's there but says she's also deeply embarrassed. A walk-in shower means the world to her. "It's just going to make it easier for her to get in and out of the shower," Thompson said.

"It can make it easier for me to get in and out of the tub and I won't necessarily have to have somebody hang on to me. I can get one foot in and grab on to the bar to get in the tub," Hershey added while crying.

Thompson of Rebath of Richmond said the plan is to begin work next week and to be finished in a day, provided there are no surprises with the demolition. "Those big cast iron tubs they're heavy and they've built the house around them. So you have to be careful to break them up to take them out," he said.

The owner declined to put a price tag on his gift to this family. He only said he saw our story. He was moved to help, and it fits his company's mission to give back. "Absolutely we'll be able to take care of Ms. Hershey," Thompson said.

Thompson has a plan and it will all come together soon. "We're going to put a new valve and chrome trim around it. The faucet and put some shelves in there for you," he said.

"It's a good idea very good idea, and I appreciate it so much," Hershey said.

We thank Rebath of Richmond for stepping up to help. They didn't have to. We hope to show you Grethel Hershey's new and safer bathroom this time next week.

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