(CBS DETROIT) – 81 year old Vietnam Veteran William Norman has a birthday on the horizon.

He says, “I’ll be 82 December 11th.”

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But Mr. Norman says after a terrifying experience this past May, he was fearful, he wouldn’t see his next birthday.

“I heard a loud boom, knocked me right off the toilet to the floor.”

What Mr. Norman thought may have been a bomb hitting his Westside Detroit home, was in fact a very large tree from his front lawn crashing down on his house.

Making his way to the side of his home, he quickly realized just how much damage the tree caused.

“Not only just the chimney, and the roof, it was the gutters, the windows.”

All completely destroyed he says, and had he not been in the bathroom at that moment, he would have been in the direct path of the tree.

Thankful his life was spared, although the tree made the home uninhabitable.

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His caretaker, was able to find him temporary housing, but his insurance would not cover the full home repair cost. After hearing of his dilemma, members of the community came together, lead by the Disability Network of Wayne County. The organization presented him with a huge check on Tuesday.


“We’re presenting this to Mr. Norman, 10 thousand dollars.”

Those funds, also from the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency will go toward any home repair costs for Mr. Norman.

D and D innovations also donating their construction services.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m so blessed.” Said a tearful Mr. Norman


Disability Network/Wayne County Detroit is a consumer driven organization and a voice in the community that works to develop the ability of people with disabilities to live independently. For more information, visit us at: http://www.dnwayne.org.

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The Organization has two locations.
5555 Conner Street
Detroit, MI 48213
27459 5 Mile Rd
Livonia, MI  48154
Hotlines for both office:


April Morton