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Veteran who has been in convalescent home will return home thanks to donated ADA-compliant bathroom

The Bakersfield Californian - 12/17/2018

Dec. 17--U.S. Army veteran Hector Madrid is receiving a special gift in advance of Christmas and his birthday, both of which fall next week.

Madrid, 69, has spent the past year in a convalescent home after a fall which severely injured his back and led to spinal surgery. Fearing he would reinjure himself, doctors wouldn't allow him to return to his southeast Bakersfield home until his bathroom was made handicapped-accessible.

That's where Rebuilding Together Kern County stepped in. The group on Monday began installing a walk-in shower and redoing the bathroom floor.

The work should be complete by Thursday, meaning Madrid can be home with his wife for the holidays.

"I haven't been home for a long while," Madrid said. "This is the icing on the cake."

Tony Martinez, vice president of Rebuilding Together's Kern affiliate, is also a veteran. He attends the same post-traumatic stress disorder classes as Madrid. When he heard about his predicament, he realized he was an excellent candidate for the group's services.

Martinez applied for and received a grant to help cover the bathroom's costs, the rest of which were paid by community donations. Madrid won't have to pay a penny of the estimated $18,000-to-$23,000 total cost.

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