Dave and Jim Schuelke: Twin Plumbers and Twin Good Samaritans

Twin brothers Dave and Jim Schuelke run the plumbing company Schuelke Plumbing in Van Nuys, a district of Los Angeles, California. In April 2013, they investigated a leak for a condominium’s homeowners association in Burbank, California. Dave checked pipes for leaks in the building’s condos; eventually, he came to the condo of Dorothy and John Cothran. Dorothy is 77 years old. Her husband, John, who has Parkinson’s Disease, is 78. Their son, Steve, whose leg was amputated below the knee because of diabetes, is 50. Dave checked the Cothrans’ bathroom to see if it was the source of the leak. He saw that the old-fashioned bathtub and the restroom in general were unsuitable for the needs of anyone who owned a walker or a wheelchair. He went outside the condo, and then, he said, “I knocked on their door again and pulled Dorothy aside. I asked her if my assumptions were correct about her son not being able to use the bathroom.” The assumptions were correct; caretakers arrived twice a week to give sponge baths to Steve and John. Dorothy said, “That’s when Dave asked if I’d like the bathroom remodeled. I told him that sounded wonderful, but ….” But it would be expensive — too expensive. Dave told her it would be free. Dave’s twin brother, Jim, said, “Dave called me up and told me right away to take down the measurements of the bathroom. We were going to make a difference in this family’s life.” The twin brothers got the necessary permits, and they obtained donations of a toilet that was more modern than the toilet the Cothrans had, an easily accessible shower, and a smaller sink and vanity so that someone with a walker or wheelchair would be able to move around in the bathroom. The brothers donated the labor needed to remodel the bathroom. According to Jim, the remodeling of the bathroom would have cost about $20,000. Now Steve, walking on a prosthetic leg, can get into the shower without help. Dave said, “This was one of those situations in life that was meant to be. It was so obvious that they needed help.” Jim said, “L.A. has been good to us. We just decided it was time for us to start giving back.” Dorothy said, “Things like this just don’t happen. They especially don’t happen to us. The whole thing is like a fairy tale.”

For Further Information: David Lazarus, “L.A. plumbers turn family’s pipe dream into reality.” Los Angeles Times (California).  29 July 2013


For Further Information: “The Twin Plumbers Helping a family in Need!” YouTube. Published 17 July 2013


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