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Hartselle builder plans new house for injured friend

By Ronnie Thomas· 340-2438

HARTSELLE — One of Hartselle’s most prolific residential builders is planning a home for a friend and former employee. And he needs your help.

Anthony McCay, owner of McCay’s Custom Homes Inc., wants to build a handicap-accessible house for Billy and Karen McDonald behind their doublewide mobile home on Vaughn Bridge Road.

A fire in a residence at Hampton Cove in Huntsville on Sept. 24, 2004, where employees of McCay’s Hardwood Floors were working, killed one worker and severely injured Billy McDonald. Surgeons amputated his left leg, and McDonald was in The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital for more than 14 months. He returned home Dec. 2, 2005.

McCay closed the floor business after the accident, but he said McDonald was a hard and efficient worker at sanding floors.

“He is a good man, too, and I want to help him out,” McCay said. “I’ve never built a house like this before, and I’m open to suggestions.”

McCay, who plans to begin construction in April, said he will contribute all of his part of the construction. Individuals or groups who wish to donate toward the effort may do so at any Family Security Credit Union branch bank or by mailing a check to: Billy Dale McDonald House Fund, Family Security Credit Union, 2204 Family Security Place S.W., Decatur, AL 35603.

“Billy is more excited now than I’ve ever seen him,” McCay said. “The thought of a home that he can really maneuver in has brightened him up. For a time, he wouldn’t eat, and this is someone who likes to cook. He’s back in the kitchen again, making the best out of life with what God has left him to deal with.”

McCay said making the kitchen and the bathroom more accessible for McDonald are crucial.

“Of course, we want to make the whole house easier for him to get around in,” McCay said. “Also, he likes to be able to see outside, so we’re going to give him covered front and back porches that he can wheel around in anytime.”

Once McCay completes the house, the McDonalds will sell the mobile home for relocation.

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