SAN ANTONIO – An 80-year old Navy veteran will spend a more comfortable Thanksgiving at home thanks to the state and some generous KSAT viewers, but still needs more repair work done.
The KSAT 12 Defenders first became aware of Larry Ferrell back in September when his friends contacted the station concerned that Ferrell's house was falling apart.
Amy Sanchez and Yolie Arriaga complained that they had asked agency after agency to help Ferrell but had come away empty handed.
The KSAT Defenders exposed Ferrell's situation and he received some of the help he needed.
"Come on in here and I'll bring you right on in to it," Ferrell said as he ushered a visitor into his wood frame West Side home.
Ferrell is proud to show off his new water heater that now allows him to take a hot shower. His bathroom sink has also been repaired.
He said his home is much improved from two months ago when his roof leaked, his plumbing was shot and his electric wiring was shockingly bad.
Back then, Arriaga pleaded for help. "He served the Navy and retired 20 years from the Navy," Arriaga said in September. "Somebody can at least help him some way."
After the story aired on KSAT 12, Adult Protective Services found the money to fix his roof, replace his water heater and fix his bathroom sink.
Viewers Vonda Love and her husband with Sunland Termite and Pest Control donated their services to help eradicate rats, mice and bugs of all kind from the home.
Before they arrived, Ferrell was operating under his own plan. "I got a black cat that comes in over there like that and I throw him out a few little snacks so he'll take care of the rats," Ferrell said.
While much progress has been made at the home, Ferrell is still in need of more help to make the house more livable.
His kitchen sink also still drains into a bucket, his toilet leaks and the electricity is still faulty.
"He's got a few working outlets but not very many," Sanchez said. He also needs a space heater for the coming Winter weather. Still, Sanchez said Ferrell is grateful for the improvements.
"I mean he's way better off than he was this summer and that's thanks to you and a lot of the other people that have helped us," Sanchez said.
She is hoping more help will arrive before Christmas. Ferrell said the state is getting estimates on some of the repairs and hopes all of the work can be completed.
Adult Protective Services advises residents who know of someone elderly in trouble, to call 2-1-1.