This spring, MYR Group subsidiary Sturgeon Electric leadership wanted to help friend and former general foreman, Jerry Pastore by renovating his home to better accommodate the needs of his son, Jerry Jr.
Jerry Jr. was diagnosed at 13.5 months with lactic acidosis – a mitochondrial disease that creates muscle buildup from an overabundance of lactic acid deposits. The medical condition prevents muscle development and affects the temporal lobes in the brain that initiate speech. People with the condition lose their ability to speak and move and are in need of complete support from caregivers.
Jerry Jr. and his family traveled throughout the nation to look for answers about this rare diagnosis. They visited San Diego Hospital, Emory University, and the Mayo Clinic, with little success.
The family heard of the Institute of Achievement of Human Potential (Glenn Doman) in Philadelphia from a family friend. They visited Philadelphia twice a year for 10 years to learn about different exercises and tools to stimulate Jerry Jr.’s brain to help better develop his muscles. Volunteer caregivers came into the Pastore home to help Jerry Jr. with his therapy and exercises, but his progression stopped around 15 years old. As progression ceased, so did the help.
Today, at 35, Jerry Jr. participates in a day program through the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC). The DDRC is a state-funded program that provides assistance and support to individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Jerry Jr. requires complete support from caregivers and the Pastore’s’ two-level home posed challenges for transfers and bedtime. Sturgeon Electric donated labor, equipment, and services to construct a new space for Jerry Jr. Sturgeon Electric renovated the Pastore’s covered patio into a family room, and added an ADA certified bathroom and bedroom for Jerry Jr. His new apartment is on the first level and provides easy access to the house and garage. Sturgeon Electric also donated a new adjustable bed and mattress, electric recliner, electric fireplace (Jerry Jr. loves watching the fire), carpet installation, and a new TV for his new living space.
In April, Jerry had pneumonia and spent a few days in the hospital. Upon returning, he began living in his new apartment and the space has been a lifesaver for him and his family. Jerry Jr.’s mother, Dora Pastore says, “Transfers are a snap! We can get Jerry from the chair to his bed so quickly. This has been a huge help for the whole family!” Jerry is mesmerized by the fireplace and relaxes in the La-Z-Boy recliner when he watches his new big screen TV. Dora says she likes his family room better than the family room in the main house! She gives everyone who walks in the door a tour of Jerry Jr.’s apartment.
The Pastore family is speechless with gratitude for Sturgeon Electric’s generosity! Dora explains that this was one of the greatest acts of kindness that anyone has ever done for the Pastore family. The entire family has benefitted from this space. It not only helps Dora and her husband, Jerry Sr. with transfers, but Jerry Jr.’s sister, Lisa, is his CNA and his new apartment helps her do her job more efficiently. The new space has been an amazing help and they cannot thank Sturgeon Electric enough for this incredible donation.