Coworkers makeover injured CHP Officers home
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A California Highway Patrol Officer seriously hurt late last month will return to the Valley next week to a home he may hardly recognize.
Lincoln McKenna lost a portion of one leg in the accident. Since then, he's undergone close to a dozen surgeries at a Bay Area hospital.
Cutting baseboards and then caulking them with precision is far different from the work these officers are used to doing together.
Ranks are put aside at this job site as members of the California Highway Patrol work to refurbish and remodel a home their co-worker, Lincoln McKenna had planned to fix up himself.
"We have a dispatcher in here that's leading the paint crew. She's doing an awesome job," said John Maxfield. "Giving officers orders basically on how to paint. And if they do it wrong, she's letting them know."
Working alongside McKenna's co-workers is another little bit of inspiration, the injured officer's 5-year-old son, Austin.
Three weeks ago the family's life changed forever, it was the same day the McKenna's closed escrow on the Madera Ranchos home they had plans to turn into their dream home.
Melinda McKenna said, "So we were gonna celebrate and then at 5:15 I got a call that he was in an accident, and that's a call that I'll never forget, so the house got put on the back burner."
The off-duty CHP Officer was on his motorcycle when Fresno Police say he was cut off in traffic on Herndon near Palm Avenue. The accident severed his lower leg from the knee down.
Since that day McKenna's wife has been overwhelmed with both grief and love. "We still haven't mourned the loss of his leg. And that's not what I cry over, I cry over the generosity of everybody and because you don't hear that too much anymore. Through a tragic time like this when you think the world is caving in on you, people are there lifting you up."
Almost immediately the officers went to work giving the home a complete facelift.
Anthony Thompson adds, "The experience has been really fantastic to see everybody come together and to do this for him."
Melinda said, "They have done everything in our two year plan within three weeks."
McKenna is expected to be released from a Bay Area hospital next week. No one knows how he will react when he sees how his generous co-workers turned his house into a home just for him.
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