July 12, 2019 Sturgeon Electric Team Members Renovate Family’s Home to Better Suit Special Needs Child
CREW FROM MYR GROUP SUBSIDIARY TRANSFORM FORMER GENERAL FOREMAN’S HOUSE TO HELP ENHANCE CAREAND LIFE FOR ADULT CHILD WITH A DISABILITY
Leaders at MYR Group subsidiary Sturgeon Electric Company, Inc. (Sturgeon Electric) helped a friend and former general foreman, Jerry Pastore, Sr., by renovating his family’s home. Undertaken earlier this year, the renovation was designed to better the needs of his son.
Jerry, Jr., 35, was diagnosed at 13.5 months with lactic acidosis, a mitochondrial disease that creates muscle buildup from an overabundance of lactic acid deposits. The 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.
Because Jerry Jr. requires complete support from caregivers, the Pastore’s’ two-level home posed challenges during transfers and at bedtime.
Enter Sturgeon Electric. When Jerry, Jr. was hospitalized for pneumonia for several days in April, a company crew mobilized to convert the patio into a family living room and add an ADA-certified bathroom and bedroom for Jerry, Jr. The new first-level apartment provides easy access to the house and garage.
“Transfers are a snap!” Dora Pastore, his mother, says. “We can get Jerry from the chair to his bed so quickly. This has been a huge help for the whole family.”
The newly renovated space also helps Lisa, his sister and certified nursing assistant (CNA), work more efficiently, Dora says.
TRANSFORMING THE HOME
Sturgeon Electric donated the labor, equipment, electrical services, and material for the renovation. Upgrades included an adjustable bed and mattress for his bedroom and, in the new living space, a new television, power recliner, and an electric fireplace.
Jerry is mesmerized by the fireplace and relaxes in the La-Z-Boy recliner when he watches his new big screen TV, Dora says. In fact, she adds, she prefers her son’s living room better than the family room in the main house and gives everyone who walks in the front door a tour of Jerry Jr.’s apartment.
The Pastore family is speechless with gratitude for Sturgeon Electric’s generosity, she says, calling the renovation one of the greatest acts of kindness that anyone has ever done for the Pastore family.
SEARCHING FOR A CAUSE
When Jerry, Jr. was diagnosed with lactic acidosis, his family traveled throughout the nation to look for answers about this rare diagnosis, meeting with specialists at the San Diego Hospital, Emory University, and the Mayo Clinic with little success.
A family friend told them about the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, a group of non-profit institutes known for its pioneering work in child brain development and programs to help brain-injured children achieve wellness.
The family visited Philadelphia twice a year for 10 years to learn different exercises and tools to stimulate Jerry Jr.’s brain to help better develop his muscles. Volunteer caregivers visited the Pastore home to help Jerry Jr. with therapy and exercises but his progression stopped around age 15. As progression ceased, so did the help. Today, Jerry Jr. participates in a day program through the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC), a state-funded program that provides assistance and support to individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.