Giving love to a family waiting for a heart

PORTER – No amount of training could have prepared Lt. Larry Weaver of the Porter Fire Department for the battle he now faces in his personal life, with a 12-year-old son hospitalized with an uncertain future as he awaits a heart transplant.

Brandon Weaver was treated for a heart condition for some time, but things began a sudden and rapid deterioration when his lungs and liver became congested. At that point, doctors discovered his heart was in worse shape than originally thought and a surgery to repair his heart brought even worse news. Brandon’s heart was found to be too damaged to be repaired and he was moved to the top of a transplant list.

Weaver’s family of firefighters cannot make Brandon well, but they are doing all they can to help their brother.

Larry Weaver bought a shell home he planned to finish for his family, but then personal and financial hardships left him without the time or money to complete the project, and a travel trailer to call home.

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When his fellow firefighters realized his situation, they began spending their free time finishing the project and trying to procure the materials and items still needed to make what was an empty shell into a home.

Each Christmas, Gallery Furniture reaches out to deserving families by furnishing their homes. The process begins with letters sent to the business on behalf of those families, which are then carefully sorted and reviewed before the lucky recipients are chosen.

This year, they received letters about the plight of Larry Weaver and his children. One of those was written by Diann Wilck, PFD Office Administrator. She wrote the heart wrenching story of Brandon and his 5-year-old sister, Valerie who is another victim of his medical condition, since her father has to be at the hospital so much, and she is separated from him and her big brother. Brandon Weaver will not leave the hospital until he has a new heart.

Wilck referred to Weaver as “kind, modest, strong, and brave,” and she appealed to Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale the help the Weaver family to have a furnished house waiting for Brandon when he finally comes home. What little furniture they had, she wrote, was “worn and in poor shape.” Wilck also reminded McIngvale of the role firefighters played in his life when so much of his business was saved earlier this year after an arsonist set his warehouse ablaze.

Wilck’s words did not fall on deaf ears and Weaver’s family made the cut. Georgia Ann Spears, from Gallery Furniture, said the Weavers were among 15 families chosen from about 3,500 this year. The furniture was delivered to the Porter Fire Department to allow time for completion of his home. The single father had no idea what was happening on Friday when he walked into the bay of the station holding Valerie’s hand. His eyes filled with tears when he realized all of the commotion was about him.

“I would’ve never dreamed anything like this,” Weaver said. “I’ve got a great family in the fire service.”

Weaver said his son has been in Texas Children’s Hospital since the beginning of November and has only seen his little sister once during that time.

“They’re not allowing kids up there – although they did bend the rules a little Thanksgiving Day, she did get to see him then,” Weaver said.

Valerie Weaver, who was working on removing a loose tooth throughout the event, said getting the furniture was “cool” and that her brother was going to say it was “awesome.”

Larry Weaver said his fire department family had taken a big burden from him with all of their help.
PFD Deputy Chief David Teverbaugh said the firefighters had been working on the Weaver home since the beginning of October and are nearing completion of much of the project, but still need a kitchen and some costly items, along with money to resolve some drainage and other issues.
Station 121 is facilitating material donations. Arrangements can be made by calling 281-354-6666.

Monetary donations can be made at any Amegy Bank in the “Weaver Family Benefit Account.”


Specific needs:

-Set and run service line for propane tank already onsite.
-Connect tank less water heater to water and gas. Unit also needs to be vented.
-Connect a few remaining fixture stuff-outs under house to existing sewage lines.

Septic system:
-There is an existing septic tank and leach field onsite that must be upgraded to an aerobic waste treatment system to be legal.

Master bath:
-Tile and shower doors.

-upper and lower cabinets and countertops

Air Conditioner:
-System is basically complete, but an attempt was made to install a used 4-ton condenser unit and the compressor was bad, so a new compressor or a new condenser unit with professional installation is needed.

Site work:
-A large part of the backyard is under water and some fill dirt and proper grading might correct the drainage problem, giving the children a safe place to play and controlling the mosquito population.

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