Bella Tucker is a 9-year-old South School student who came down with a near fatal infection on Easter Sunday. Doctors gave little hope for her survival, but after five days in a coma, she survived Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). However, the infection caused extensive tissue damage, and on April 27, she underwent quadruple amputation surgery.
"There's so much uncertainty as to when she gets to come home," said Tony Nigro of Suffolk Construction, who is working with CUBE 3 Studio Architects as well as Jen Hamwey, a civil engineer from Windham, to complete the Tucker family's addition. "We started to build as quickly as possible, with our original goal to be out of the house by the holidays. But as we built and gained more momentum, we became more aggressive."
Also in attendance at the "topping off" ceremony was Gov. John Lynch. Nigro said the Governor has taken a special interest in Bella and named her Aug. 12 birthday Bella Tucker Day in New Hampshire.
"I know he had a busy schedule and made a point to stop by," he said. "I know it means a lot to the family because he's gone way above and beyond."
Lynch, as well as town officials, have helped keep the construction process running smoothly by assisting with approvals and permits, and volunteers are now working to have construction completed by Nov. 1, with Bella potentially returning before Thanksgiving. The construction team is well staffed, but Nigro said they are still in need of materials for the project.
"Everyone wants to help, and the easiest thing most people can do is donate their labor," he said. "The bigger challenge has been materials. Material on a project of this size is not a small donation."
Nigro said a recent donation from Harvey Industries in Londonderry of windows, siding, and roofing "came at a very good time" and was "very touching." Items still needed include spray foam insulation to super insulate the house, and an accessible play structure to be installed in the family's backyard. Every effort is being made to build as energy efficient a home as possible, Nigro explained, so they don't "double the size of their house and leave them with huge bills."
The team is also looking for residents with a vacant apartment or home in south Londonderry during the month of October, where the family can stay until construction on their home is complete. Nigro said a space in south Londonderry is preferable because it will allow Bella's four siblings to ride their usual bus to school.
Kaitlyn G. Woods Londonderry Times