Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS-- Earnest and Vivian Jack share a lifetime of memories and 63 years of marriage.

'Very handsome,' said Vivian. 'He's still handsome.'

'She's everything to me,' added Earnest.

Earnest was an Army sergeant during World War II, a construction engineer repairing battle damage just behind the front lines on Pacific islands.

'I was a crane operator, and sometimes I could hear a bullet or something hit the big machine.'

Vivian has multiple sclerosis, and part of her left leg was amputated, so she spends most of her time in bed.

'Some days I feel good, and other days not good.'

For the last two years, she needed a hospital bed, which meant Earnest had to move to a cot.

'It's rough, it's rough,' said Earnest.

'Not good, not good,' said Vivian.

Their home is one of 21 projects for Rebuilding Together New Orleans in October, when there will be roof repairs, electrical work, new windows and a new wheelchair ramp.

'My grandfather was a World War II veteran,' said Jon Skvarka, the Rebuilding Together director. 'You see this family that has these needs, and has such a compelling story.'

LSU Health Sciences Center Occupational Therapists are working with Rebuilding Together to get a hospital bed Earnest and Vivian can share.

'The double bed is going to allow Mr. and Mrs. Jack to be able to finally sleep together in the same bed, be able to have a very high quality of life,' explained LSUHSC Occupational Therapist Kerrie Ramsdell.

An Iowa company called Transfer Master has a double sized hospital bed that the Jacks could both share. The key, though, is raising the funds to get it here and installed.

'We have to raise about $2200,' said Ramsdell.

'I'd sure be glad, because I would like to sleep with her,' said Earnest.

'Oh, it would mean everything, everything,' exclaimed Vivian.

For more information, call Rebuilding Together New Orleans at 636-3075, or visit their website here.

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