A wish has come true for Bud and Shelly Strouse.
The Strouses have lived in a standard apartment at Edgewater on Third, a senior independent living complex in downtown Davenport for the past five years. But health problems and a decline in mobility had made it necessary for Bud to use a wheelchair to get around.
That's when the Quad-City Times annual Wish List entered the picture. After a story about the Strouses was published in late December, Bill's Moving and Storage, 104 10th St., Rock Island, offered to pack up and move the couple free of charge to a handicapped-accessible apartment in the same building.
But the Strouses' plans to move were put on hold when Bud, 69, and Shelly, 63, both contracted COVID-19 in January. Each required about a week in the hospital to recover.
"Bud came out of the hospital and I went in," Shelly said. "They gave us plasma with antibodies in it and that stuff is liquid gold. It makes you well in a hurry. We're on the mend now."
Carrie Wooldridge, a social worker for CASI, Center for Active Seniors, Inc., nominated the Strouses for Quad-City Times Wish List — a partnership with United Way of the Quad-Cities that uses reader donations to buy basic items and pay for services for Quad-City residents with specific needs.
Wooldridge serves as the social worker at Edgewater on Third and arranged for their move into the handicapped-accessible apartment.
But if recovering from COVID-19 wasn't enough, Bud was told by his physician he needed heart valve replacement surgery.
"Bud's been through quite a bit," Shelly said. "The valve replacement has made a big difference; he feels so much better now."
Fortunately, the Strouses were able to get moved and settled in to their new apartment in March before Bud's heart surgery earlier this month. The surgery was done by angioplasty, making it an easier recovery for Bud.
Shelly is grateful to Bill's Moving and Storage for their help.
"They did a quick job and a good job; they got everything moved — even the food in the fridge," she said. "They did the packing and the moving. They were very polite. They sent a crew of four guys and they got done in three hours."
One of the unexpected benefits with the new apartment, located on a higher floor, is that it looks out over the Mississippi River and has views of Modern Woodman Park and the Centennial Bridge. In addition to being able to move around with greater ease and having more room, the Strouses are looking forward to watching fireworks displays after summer baseball games and during the Fourth of July from the comfort of their new home.
The south side of the building is also much quieter since it is away from street traffic, Shelly said.
"I love it here," Shelly said. "Everything is really nice. The bathroom is huge and it has a walk-in shower, which is so good. Our living room is big enough that we can park Bud's electric wheelchair in here and both of our walkers.
"And we've got a wonderful view up here. At night we can see the (Centennial) bridge and the Freight House lights. It will be wonderful when the fireworks come at the baseball stadium."
Shelly said being nominated for the Quad-City Times Wish List "was such a blessing to us."
"Otherwise, I don't know where we would have gotten help for our move and the packing. It would have been beyond our means financially. It was a miracle of God that (Bill's Moving and Storage) came forward and moved us for free. That overwhelmed me that they would do it for free. Not only did they do it, but they did a good job."