Action News helps man gets new stair lift; abandoned home finally demolished

PHILADELPHIA - December 2, 2013

I want you to first meet Joey Borysowski.. He suffers from ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, which eats away at your muscle.

Joey's mind is razor sharp, but because he has ALS, he has trouble talking and his legs are so weak he can't go up and down stairs by himself. This means while his wife works outside of the home to make ends meet, Joey can't even go outside.

"I hate to see him struggle and he has to struggle so much getting down the stairs," Brenda Borysowski said.

So the Borysowski family was relieved when a friend gave Joey a stair lift that had barely been used.

Joey's mom, Joyce, paid an independent contractor to install the lift.

"If he had that, it would be so much easier," Brenda said.

But here's where the problem comes in.

"It wasn't properly affixed to the steps; it was installed on the improper side, the improper rail was used," Shawn Herbst of Acorn Stairlifts, Inc. said.

Yes, the contractor ruined the gift Joey so desperately needed then he disappeared.

"We just want to have something he can use to get in and out," Joey's mother Joyce Oehrli said.

After I met the Borysowskis, I called Acorn Stairlifts, the largest stair lift manufacturer, and two weeks later, Acorn donated and installed a brand new stair lift for Joey.

"It's wonderful to see him ride on it," Joyce said.

Acorn says to avoid a situation like the Borysowskis, be advised: Stair lift manufacturers like Acorn have their own trained and certified technicians. It's important to use one of them to ensure your stair lift is installed correctly, safely, and properly.


Cheryl Greene has been fighting to keep her parents' Germantown neighborhood safe.

"I'm just feeling frustrated. Frustrated, annoyed, and I'm to the point of getting angry. These are my parents," Greene said.

The house next door to her parents burned down more than 25 years ago and Greene says it's been a major hazard ever since..

"They've been burglarized, robbed, vandalized twice within this year because of the easy access to this abandoned property," Greene said.

Greene's been asking the city to tear it down but more than two decades later it still stood on the verge of collapse.

"I'm afraid of that. That's why I called you guys. I really need some help with this," Greene said.

Four months later, I got to go back to Germantown to deliver good news to Greene.

The hazardous house is finally gone.

"I'm just so elated I just can't believe if it weren't for Channel 6, your persistence, just getting the job done. I appreciate it so much," Greene said.

Of course, we want to thank the city for responding to our requests to get that house demolished.

And if you need help reach us through Call for Action.

Email us through or call 1-866-978-4232. That's 1-866-WPVI-CFA.

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