Mold, mildew could delay heart patient's homecoming

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 8:32 PM

KAUFMAN — Andrew Hamrick is not a carpenter, but the volunteer fireman has been busy with his hands. His motivation is the face of his four-year-old son, Austin.

“When you see him, and his smile, and his eyes, and everything... it makes you want to go and get this done for him,” Hamrick said.

Austin was born with an undeveloped left side of the heart. Seven surgeries and a heart transplant later, he's ready to come home.

But the Hamrick home isn't ready for him, because inspectors detected a lot of mold and mildew there. Austin's doctor at Children's Medical Center says there is very little room for error.

“If he were to get any of those infections, he will not have the immune system to fight it," Dr. Aleissa Barnes warned. "He would get very sick, very quickly."

Michelle Hamrick said it's tough not seeing her son in his room with his favorite cowboy hat on.

“I don't put this on anybody," she said. "It's been really hard, but we deal with it."

The community is coming together in a huge way. Materials have been donated, and a lot of work has been volunteered.

But the clock is ticking. Austin comes home on Friday, and the family still needs more manpower to beat the deadline.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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