Were it not for a man named Keith Pugmire from Sandy, Utah, a woman living with multiple sclerosis would have moved into a nursing home at least ten years ago.
Today, Kathy Felt still lives in her own home and maintains her independence, all thanks to a team of 60 men, spearheaded by Pugmire.
Felt explained that her multiple sclerosis symptoms had become so severe that she could not get in or out of bed by herself.
Felt had an aid and her two sons who would come over in the morning to help her out of bed and get ready for the day.
But at night, she needed help getting out of her mobilized chair and into bed.
Felt, who lives alone, reasoned that the safest, most logical option would be for her to sell her house and move into a nursing home.
But everything changed when Felt’s next door neighbor, Pugmire, spearheaded a solution that has been working for the last 10 years.
“I cried, just like now,” Felt told CBS news anchor Steve Hartman. “I was so moved. This is my miracle.”
Felt’s miracle came in the form of a list containing the names of 60 men who said they’d come over, in teams of two, to put Felt in her bed each night.
Every night, seven days a week, for the last 10 years, the neighbors have rotated shifts, making sure Felt is comfortable and settled in her own bed.
“We’re going to be here as long as she needs us,” said Pugmire, who keeps the group of men organized. “Our challenge is to get everybody a time.”
“You’ve got more volunteers than you need?” Hartman asked Pugmire incredulously.
“Yeah!” Pugmire said with a laugh.
While Pugmire’s team is running strong, he said the recruiting efforts were somewhat difficult.
Understandably, most men felt inadequate for the job and uncomfortable going into the home of a single woman to help put her to bed.
“I can’t say that I was excited, I’ll tell you that,” said one volunteer.
“I have no healthcare background at all, and I’m here to lift you up and put you into bed?” recalled another.
But with time and training, the teams of men became quite skilled at lifting Felt out of her chair and arranging her just so in her bed. Now, it’s like clockwork, a quick and painless process that has brought everyone a healthy measure of joy.
Resident John Keller admitted that at first, he did not want to sign up to help. In the end, he only signed up so that he wouldn’t look bad by saying no.
“That’s hard for me to say,” an emotional Keller admitted. “I had always considered myself as a good person, Christian. Then I realized maybe I’m not. I just wanted to change. I wanted to be a better person.”
Today, Keller has found himself a changed man, all thanks to Felt, who graciously accepts help night after night from her hardworking neighbors.
We sometimes wonder whether or not our pain has a purpose. Felt has to bear the physical burden of her pain, but because of her, an entire neighborhood has changed for the better.
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