Hurricane Harvey's torrential rain, devastating winds and widespread flooding cost nearly 40 lives, driving out nearly one million people from their homes in Texas. It caused extensive destruction that will likely make it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
"Everyone's heart is broken right now, they're all broken, said David Perritt, a Vidor resident.
The Effects of the storm is what motivates Perritt to continue to help is fellow Southeast Texans, despite a health hindrance due to a massive heart attack he suffered in his Vidor home shortly before tropical storm Harvey.
"I got carried off to the hospital and I had a full blown quadruple bypass,” said Perritt.
After the surgery, Perrit would spend nine more days at the Baptist Beaumont Hospital recovering. The only way Perritt could leave the hospital was with a heart defibrillator to prevent an irregular heart rhythm and sudden cardiac arrest.
"Basically it's a vest, I have it on, it has paddle plates in it and if something happens and I go down, it will bring me back."
But it was only days after Perritt would return home that he would be welcomed with tropical storm Harvey's record breaking flooding. With Perritt's home not suffering any flood damage, he decided to partner with his next door neighbor to rescue those trapped in their North Vidor homes.
"All I did was go with him and try to help the best way I could,” said Perritt. I couldn’t do much, couldn't go in the water much, couldn't go knee deep."
Perritt's determination in the rescues would somewhat blind him to the limited abilities he faced, as doctors had given him a five pound maximum lifting capacity.
"I would grab a back of water to get it on the boat and then I realized this weighs more than five pounds,” said Perritt. “There was a couple of times of really thought I made a mistake."
Perrit says that it was a risk well worth taking and even today, he's choosing to partner with others in repairing homes that were affected, instead of staying home to recover.
"We elected to come help Steve and Judy,” said Perritt. I hate to be too personal but they're at their last end. They lost so much and we are going to help them get back on their feet.”
Steve and Judy Edwards Vidor home off of Limberick Drive received 38 inches of flood water, forcing nearly everything inside the home to be gutted out. Perritt says it's something he holds close to his heart that helps him to continue to lend a hand.
"My faith is what carries me, I see the love in people's hearts and if you don't have the faith, you can't do this,” said Perritt. You have to want to do it and my Christianity and my faith is what carries me."
Perrit says he inviting anyone that wants to come help rebuild some of the damaged homes in Vidor by first contacting him. You can call 409-791-0627 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.