He couldn't shower himself for years. Then he asked CBS 6 for help: 'I’m happy now'

Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 25, 2023

CHARLES COUNTY, Va. -- A debilitating injury left Charles Green unable to do most things on his own — that included taking a shower.

The 73-year-old Charles City County man reached out to CBS 6 desperate for help after almost four years of not being able to take a shower without the help of his aging wife.

With the help of Virginia Shower and Bath, CBS 6 Gives surprised Green with what he called a life-changing gift.

Born in Richmond and raised in Charles City, Green spent most of his life on the road.

"When I left school, I was a tractor-trailer driver," Green said. "I used to run across the country."

When he wasn’t out working on 18 wheels, Green said he was at home building out the four walls of his family’s home.

"I like to build things, built a lot of this house," he said.

But after more than 30 years on the move, the handyman came to a halt.

An injury he suffered while driving years ago led to him being unable to walk.

"I drove trucks just about all my life, that's how I got hurt with this," Green said. "As I got older this thing grew on me. One day I fell in the bathroom, and I literally had to drag myself out of that bathroom into the bedroom."

Doctors diagnosed him with spinal stenosis. He went from being able to do everything on his own to almost nothing.

"I laid here for about two and a half years, couldn't get up, couldn't do nothing for myself and it really put pressure on my wife," Green said. "It’s been hard, it's been rough. I wouldn't wish this on anybody, puts more pressure on my wife."

Charles Green show

Charles was eventually able to get surgery that allowed him to walk. But he was still unable to do basic things like drive or bathe on his own.

Seeing how his condition was impacting his wife, Mildred, Charles reached out to CBS 6 and asked for help.

"Really take a good shower, by myself, without my wife's help. That’d mean the world to me. I can't even imagine it," he said.

CBS 6 and Virginia Shower and Bath surprised Green Wednesday morning, ready to transform his bathroom in less than 24 hours.

Crews traveled early that morning from Virginia Beach and worked to take the old shower out and put the new shower in.

Green was able to finally take a look at his new shower the next morning.

"Oh wow. That is nice. That's awesome," Green said in disbelief at the new shower. "I'm going to take two to three good showers a day."

Charles Green
Charles Green (left) walks in to see his new shower.

His wife Mildred overflowed with emotion.

"Thank God I don't have to do that right now, he can do it himself. I just thank God," she said.

Tyler Augustine with Virginia Shower and Bath said they heard about Green’s story and knew they had to help.

"We have been a part of the Richmond community for a long time and they've helped us and we felt like this was the perfect opportunity to give back," Augustine said.

Bob Shackford with Paramount Builders said they were grateful to be a part of the project.

"It's a blessing, I mean for us it gives you a feeling of hope that the whole world could have some humility and humanity and be generous with their blessing and give to others," Shackford said.

Green said while he was glad to have CBS 6 there, he couldn't wait for us to leave so he could finally take a shower on his own.

"I mean I couldn’t jump up and down because I got a walker right here but it really excited me," he said. "I’m happy now that I can take a shower by myself, I won't have to be asking my wife and I can feel better about myself."

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