Woman With Multiple Sclerosis Unable to Move Near Porter Ranch Gas Leak Gets Help

A total stranger decided to help the family by replacing the home's windows.

After the gas leak in Porter Ranch, one family facing incredible difficulties due to a woman's disability got help Sunday after an NBC4 viewer saw her story.

On Christmas Eve, NBC4 covered a family's struggle during the ongoing Porter Ranch gas leak.

The family's home in Porter Ranch was retrofitted to make life easier for Wendy Corell, who has multiple sclerosis.

The home even has an elevator so Corell can easily travel to her bedroom in her wheelchair.

After the leak, many residents took advantage of staying at hotels until the leak was contained.

But that wasn't an option for the Corell family, whose windows are single-paned. They said the effects of the leak range from headaches to sore throats and more.

That's where Karen Derbyshire came in.

"The story caught my attention because, obviously, they need windows," Derbyshire, who runs James Price Windows & Doors in Torrance, said. "I suddenly thought to myself: you know what, I'm actually very blessed and maybe I can do something for somebody else, that's how it all came about."

Derbyshire's husband died suddenly last year and recently she said she's been immobilized after a serious foot surgery.

But she said she wanted to help Wendy Corell after she saw how hard it was for her to be trapped in a home with old windows leaking gas and unable to move because of advanced multiple sclerosis.

"As difficult as it feels for me, I know it's only temporary," Derbyshire said. "[Wendy is] brave and strong. Every day they go through it."

"She sounds like a person who feels for other people and is a very caring person," Corell's father Jerry Okonowsky said.

He has retrofitted her Porter Ranch house over the years to suit Corell's needs, but they don't have the money to install new windows. That's why Derbyshire has offered to replace all 25 windows for free.

"It makes me feel good. It's a huge difference to Wendy and her living environment," Okonowsky said. "You hear things, but you never assume that you're going to be the recipient of something like that."

The cost to replace the windows will be about $15,000, and the company will be out to measure and replace them in the coming week.

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