Two South Florida nurses who lost their home and their pets in a fire are receiving a helping hand, thanks to a local nonprofit run by a teenager and a real estate developer.
7News cameras captured Ryan and Ayleen Apathy being given the keys to their new apartment, Friday.
For the couple, who are both front-line nurses at Mercy Hospital, the generous gesture means a fresh start for them and their family.
“We just saw, even through this tragic thing that happened to us, we saw a lot of good in other people in our community and stuff like that, and this is another example of that,” said Ryan.
The Apathys’ home in Southwest Miami-Dade was destroyed after a fire ripped through, last Wednesday.
The family, thankfully, wasn’t home at the time.
However, they lost nearly everything, including their furry companions.
Steven Ferreiro, a 16-year-old who founded the nonprofit “Helping Others and Giving Hope, was moved by the couple, who are both front-line nurses at Mercy Hospital.
“I got inspired by their story of them being COVID-19 pandemic front-line workers, and I couldn’t just imagine what they’ve been dealing with, especially working through this whole pandemic,” he said, “so I couldn’t imagine them every day working and then having no home for them to go home.”
Ferreiro stepped in to help. He teamed up with AHS Residential to gift the family a new two-bedroom apartment.
“When we heard about the tragedy that occurred, we just felt it was in the best of, not only AHS’ interest but of the community to help our family like this,” said Alex Ballina, director of AHS Residential, “to settle down and get back in place so they can keep serving us.”
With this new donation, the family has a place to call home.
“It’s such a huge weight off our shoulders, and we can just relax and try to get back to normal for these guys,” said Ayleen as she stood next to her children.
“Like she said, it’s just a huge relief and we’re very appreciative,” said Ryan. “Thank you, guys.”
Officials from AHS Residential are covering the expenses of the apartment for the family for three months