Wellington, FL – January 20, 2012 – On October 27, 2011, local Royal Palm Beach resident Roberta Rothman went in for a neck surgery that changed her life, but definitely not in the way she was expecting. After waking from surgery, she discovered that she could not feel anything on the left side of her body, and she soon was confined to a wheelchair. With the help of the Shapiro-Pertnoy Companies for their third annual Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 16, 2012, Rothman now is able to piece together the puzzle of her life after surgery.
Cousins Josh Pertnoy and Kevin Shapiro, Principals of the West Palm Beach-based real estate company created the Shapiro-Pertnoy Day of Service three years ago. Although the Shapiro-Pertnoy Companies have always made philanthropy an essential part of their personal and business lives, their Day of Service helps bring volunteers and subcontractors together to better the lives of those in need on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since its creation, the number of volunteers and subcontractors has grown exponentially, truly capturing the importance of this altruistic endeavor.
It was brought to the cousins’ attention that Rothman was incapacitated by the consequences of neck surgery to help relieve compression in her spine and neck. She had awakened from surgery with a rare disease known as Brown-Séquard syndrome. “Both my mother and my sister had the same surgery and they were fine,” Rothman explained. “When I began my recovery from the surgery, it was completely different. I was suddenly unable to do things I once had taken for granted, like taking a shower. I do not have the strength to hold myself up inside, and the task alone was overwhelming.”
The Shapiro-Pertnoy Day of Service is an event that offers an outlet for others to perform social action for others. After doing a thorough evaluation of the house, Kevin and Josh concluded that the work that needed to be done would involve widening doors, expanding the shower and building wheelchair ramps.
“Until this amazing group of volunteers helped me, I had not seen the light of day since my surgery,” Rothman described. “They installed a wide ramp to my front door, something that absolutely changed my entire outlook on my situation. My dream is to one day be able to walk my dog, and being able to even sit outside with him is one step closer.”
Volunteers also had the opportunity to take part working with their hands to complete house maintenance tasks, something which the family has not had the opportunity to focus on since their attention has shifted to the health and well-being of their family member. The group worked diligently to clean and organize the garage, beautify the landscape surrounding the house and assist with maintenance within the house itself.
“It is hard to quantify the impact of these projects on the recipient or participant’s lives, but I imagine it is pretty dramatic. Rothman could not have been more grateful for the help she received, and we all enjoyed helping her during her recovery,” Kevin concluded.