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The Joseph Groh Foundation | Grant Recipient | Esequiel Rodriguez

May 8, 2023


Zeke Rodriguez by his new stair lift.

Esequiel (Zeke) joined Schmidt Electric in Austin, Texas in 2006 as a master electrician. He joined The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers IBEW 520 and worked his way up to General Foreman. Over the years, he worked on a number of major projects in Austin including the VA center, various buildings on the UT campus, Oracle, British Aerospace systems and others. His name is inscribed on a plaque in the downtown federal courthouse in Austin as one of the employees involved in that project.

In August 2022, Esequiel was in a diving accident while on vacation with his family. The accident left him with injuries on the C4/5 section of his spinal cord, making him a quadriplegic.

As a result of the accident, Zeke is paralyzed from the chest down with minimal movement in his right arm. Through his insurance he was able to get a hospital bed, a manual Hoyer lift and a power wheelchair. They were also able to purchase a ramp in order to gain entry into their home. They were working with members of the union on a funding drive to raise money for a wheelchair-accessible van. All that left Zeke with a big problem, however. He lived in a two-story home where the master bedroom/bathroom was on the second floor. They temporarily set up a hospital bed in the living room on the first floor, but there was only a half bath downstairs which was not conducive to renovating for Zeke’s needs. While researching for a solution, a family member learned about the Joseph Groh Foundation and submitted an application for a stairlift and bath remodel. This foundation was created to provide information, advocacy and financial support to people in the contracting industry who are affected by life-altering disabilities.

The foundation worked with a local plumber by the name of Moore & More Plumbing on the bath remodel. A member of Service Nation, this plumber had worked with the foundation on another project a few years earlier. Meanwhile, the foundation worked with 101 Mobility for the installation of the stairlift.

Thanks to the contributions of generous sponsors, the Joseph Groh Foundation made both of Zeke's requests happen.

When all the renovations were finished, Zeke thanked the foundation, writing "We are so extremely grateful and thankful for all your foundation has done for us; words can’t explain how much this means to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God bless you!”

Daikin is a proud supporter of The Joseph Groh Foundation. William's story is made possible through the generous donations of the Foundation's sponsors. Light your beacon for others and become a Joseph Groh Foundation Luminary today.


Zeke Rodriguez sitting by his renovated shower