Helping hand offered to woman with flood-damaged home on lower San Jacinto River

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - At 50 years old, Lacy Kovacs is taking on the biggest job of her life, rebuilding her small, 1,200-square-foot, flood-ravaged home on the lower San Jacinto River.

Built on stilts that soar 12 feet into the air, even this home, which had never flooded before, was flooded by Hurricane Harvey.

Everything inside the house was wiped out.

Now, except for a little help from a couple of good friends, Kovacs is working virtually alone to replace all of the plumbing, drywall, rotten flooring and appliances.

And she's doing it at a time when her heart is literally breaking.

“It just tore me apart. He was my whole world,” Kovacs said, breaking down in tears.

She lost her only son, Brandon, a veteran firefighter and paramedic, who died from a lung embolism at just 25 years old, and this house was meant to be Brandon’s house.

“I bought this house for my son -- in the beginning, for us to have a house together and for me to give him someday when I passed -- and he happened to pass before me. And it’s very special and I don’t want to lose it,” Kovacs said.

To make matters worse, her mother, Patsy, has lung cancer, and Kovacs has been unable to work while she cares for her dying mother.

“The doctors told me, without treatment, they give her three to six months to live,” Kovacs said, wiping away tears.

Now, working to rebuild her home, but stuck with a destroyed heating and cooling system, friends said Kovacs has refused to ask for help.

It’s just the way she is, they said. She has always taken care of her own.

“The only time I ever saw Lacy ask for help was when Brandon was in the hospital dying and she asked us for prayers,” said Doug Kapalske, a close family friend.

So, Kovacs' friends, not Kovacs, called Spencer Solves It.

And, right away, we brought in the heating and cooling pros at Budget Home Services to revamp the entire system -- a $10,000 job that the company will replace absolutely free.

Budget Home Service’s owner, Casey Hill, is thrilled to help out.

“Once we found out that her son was a veteran firefighter, we honor first responders and veterans. I was more than willing to take care of anything that Lacy needs,” Hill said.

Now, BHS will go to work replacing the furnace and heat exchange unit, the $3,000 air conditioning compressor unit, all of the connections and every inch of moldy ductwork.

It will take seven men working nonstop for eight hours to finish the job.

Now, Kovacs is well on her way to putting Brandon’s house back together again.

“I know that Brandon is watching all of this, and he is smiling right now. He knows what is going on,” said Kovacs, wiping away tears.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.