Community helps Gloucester family renovate dream home after car accident


GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — Just in time for the holidays, a family in Gloucester is back in their dream home, and they have the community to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

10 On Your Side first brought you this story in August. The Phelps family bought their fixer-upper dream home, but a terrible accident changed everything. 

“It’s amazing,” Shaun Phelps said.

It’s been a few months of work to renovate this house after a car accident put Shaun in a coma.  Doctors didn’t think he’d recover.

The accident happened shortly after Phelps returned from volunteering in Puerto Rico with Dominion Energy.  He and his wife Christina knew they would have to do some work on the home. 

“Having the plans on doing it all ourselves and then just with the accident and stuff … having John step up and get all the people, rally the troops and get all the stuff done that was done, it means everything,” Phelps said.

John Seltzer works at Lowe’s and met the Phelps while they were planning the renovation. When he heard about the accident, he organized contractors, vendors, and volunteers who together donated at least $100,000 worth of time and materials to the project.

“You know Gloucester has always been a small, tight-knit community where everybody helps everybody,” Seltzer said. “The way the people in this community rallied together is absolutely amazing.” 

He says seeing the Phelps family in their home makes it all worth it. 

“Now that the holidays are here, they have a place to call home and for Shaun, he has a newness of life to start over,” Seltzer said.

It’s a fresh start for a family that is overflowing with gratitude.

“I can’t thank everybody enough. I mean I feel like I owe everybody the world,” Phelps said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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