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The McKeon family worked hard their entire life to build the “American Dream.” Dana, Edward and their two children, sold their home to move into Dana’s childhood residence at 452 Manhattan Street with her mother, Kathlene Shouldis, after her mother was diagnosed as being legally blind. They undertook the building of an addition to Dana’s childhood home and had their new appliances delivered on Saturday, October 27th with a move-in date for the following Saturday. But, as we all know, Sandy arrived with all of her fury and swept it all away.
As Dana retells her tragedy, she notes that growing up on Manhattan Street she was no stranger to water and storms, but, as a precaution, her husband made the family evacuate that fateful Monday morning. Since not all groundwork had been completed at that time, Edward decided to stay at the house and make sure the yard did not fill up with water. It quickly became apparent to Ed that he had waited too long to leave, and he became trapped in the house. Ed recounts the events of that day in much the same manner as many others Sandy survivors, noting that "the house was swaying with the ocean... he opened a window and wanted to jump instead of having the house collapse on him.... he was trying to pick which death would be easier". Fortunately the tide began to recede and he knew he was going to survive.
It did not take long for the reality of the situation to take its hold on the McKeon family. Doors, windows, entire contents of the kitchen and bathroom and all of their new appliances had disappeared, only later to be found in the yard along with their neighbors home contents. For two days, the family looked in dismay and was overtaken with the feeling of not knowing where to begin. On the third day, volunteers offered help, and they found themselves throwing away everything they had spent their lifetime building leaving them with a home which was no longer habitable.
Kathlene lost forty-five years of her life collections in the home along with the comfort she had in being familiar her surroundings. With every passing day she continues to lose her vision. She lost her cctv along with her magnifiers and vision aid equipment. Edward lost his truck (which is critical for his job as an electrician) along with every tool he has ever owned. Joey, their son, is 11 years old and suffers from autism. He enjoys wrestling, computers, television and video games. Their daughter, Jaime, is 17 years old and was focusing on choosing a college.
Below are pictures of the McKeon's home post Hurricane Sandy.