86-year-old Avon Lake woman gets new home thanks to family’s generosity

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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW)– An 86-year-old Avon Lake woman was facing a housing crisis after a beer truck crashed into the home she has rented for the last 37 years.

The story touched the heart of 70-year-old Frank “Franco” Baird, a world-class pizza chef and good Samaritan.


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“Here’s a lady that said, ‘I just want safety and security,’ and she didn’t plan this, just like I didn’t plan it,” Baird said.

Baird and his family own a home that is currently vacant, just blocks away from Dorothy Phillips’ rental home on Lear Road. Baird, his brother and sister decided on Wednesday to allow Phillips to live in the home rent free.

“I just felt God, she doesn’t have to disrupt her life, she doesn’t have to make anything happen and it’s just sitting there, why not be a blessing to her,” he said.

Budweiser truck into home in Avon Lake — courtesy of police

While visiting her future home Wednesday morning, a tearful Phillips told Fox 8 the incredible generosity of the Baird family has answered her prayers.

“They are a blessing, they are a Godsend. I don’t know how I can ever thank them,” she said.


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It turns out that Baird is also facing the challenge of a lifetime. He is suffering from chronic kidney failure and congestive heart failure. His doctors warned him that the prognosis is not good.

“You know, sometimes the Samaritan comes along and winds up getting the blessing, and I’m fighting for my life and I need a blessing right now,” Baird said.

The vacant home has been in the Baird family for more than 50 years, but Frank’s mother, who is 92 years old, has health issues of her own. The family had no choice but to move her into a nursing facility.

The family’s decision to live their lives according to the ancient story of the good Samaritan has provided peace of mind for Phillips, and her friends and neighbors.

“It’s like a burden off your back, you know. The fact that somebody came through, somebody you don’t even know cares enough to step forward and you know, it’s a great relief, you know. She’ll sleep better tonight, so will I,” longtime neighbor Jean Zahurancik told Fox 8.

Phillips is scheduled to move into her new home on Monday.

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