Ellis was impressed with the amount of work that went into the project. (Contributed)

Ellis was impressed with the amount of work that went into the project. (Contributed)

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

A former police officer from Pitt Meadows who had been away to get treatment for PTSD came home to find his friends had given his house a makeover.

“I cried. I was overwhelmed with appreciation,” said retired RCMP officer Chris Ellis of Pitt Meadows.

He had been away at Ravensview in Saanich recently, learning to deal with post traumatic stress disorder after his policing career. It was a nine-week inpatient treatment program.

“I came home and my house was completely renovated,” he said.

The work was primarily at the exterior front. There was new siding, LED soffit lighting, a new door and entrance way, new stairs, window sills, decorative concrete and more.

A large group of friends, two who have businesses that provide home renovations, went to work over a period of about two weeks.

“There was a lot of effort. The house looks brand new,” he said. “It’s an amazing renovation. It probably would have cost me $40,000 to $50,000.

“It’s a 1974 B.C. Box, but now it’s the nicest home in the neighbourhood.”

It was the work of friends who wanted to show their appreciation. His wife Jackie got the hammers swinging, and the volunteer workers got more ambitious as the job progressed.

Jackie, who is also a retired RCMP officer, often surprises her husband with home improvements when he returns home from being away, like painting, new baseboards or even flooring. Her husband freely admits the handywoman is definitely the better half when it comes to DIY projects. She is starting a new career as a film industry grip.

“I wanted this to be his big surprise, because he was doing so much work on himself,” she said.

Police officers obviously see violence and tragedy many of us will never experience. Ellis retired from the RCMP five years ago, and has discovered he has wounds beyond even the broken back he suffered in 2009.

“A rather large woman jumped on me. I had arrested her son,” he explained.

He didn’t see her coming, and the sudden ambush left him with two compression fractures. The injury wasn’t properly diagnosed for about a year. It finally came to light, when one day he was getting ready for work and his legs simply “gave out.”

But he also had mental health injuries, that left him with nightmares, sudden mood changes and other problems.

The recent isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic left him with too much time alone with his thoughts.

“It was a reminder that I wasn’t doing well.

READ ALSO: Vernon Mountie to walk 239 kilometres and raise awareness for PTSD

“I have PTSD relating to a lot of trauma I was exposed to,” he said. “In a 12-hour shift as a police officer, you can experience as much trauma as another person sees in a lifetime.”

Ravensview was “amazing” he said. Ellis feels confident he has the tools to cope with his memories. Trauma treatment involved re-telling those incidents, meditation, art therapy and more. He has a new focus on being kind, mindful and accepting what life throws his way.

Ellis is grateful Veteran’s Affairs supported his treatment. He said the RCMP is evolving a greater awareness of PTSD and its effects on members.

“The culture is changing. More members are aware of their minds, and taking care of their minds.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafeBC over police widow’s pension

Ellis hasn’t stopped appreciating his new-looking house.

“We have a small patio where we would sit and look at the road. Now we turn our chairs and look at the house.”

It makes him feel appreciated. He gets emotional talking about it.

“My friends value me so much, and it makes me value myself.”

Chris and Jackie wanted to recognize everyone who had worked on the project:

  • Adam Zanetti (friend for 20 plus years, owner Cast In Stone)
  • Hayden Zanetti (Adam’s son)-demo
  • Jordyn Ellis (our daughter) – meals/water
  • Jaida Ellis (our daughter) – painting
  • John Ljubic (friend for 20 plus years, helped with everything)
  • Josh Lovig (friend for 30 years, demo and siding and everything else)
  • Taryn White (friend 36 years, demo, siding and painting)
  • Kevin Paugh (friend five years, electrical and everything else)
  • Jeff Galer (friend 10 years, Poco builders)
  • Anthony Boucher (siding)
  • Jimmy Barna (concrete)
  • Daniel Billing (stone work)
  • Travis Klein (clean up and disposal)
  • Jackie Ellis (demo, siding, painting)
  • Bill Dingwall (father , door install)
  • Tammy and Clay Gagnon (Whonnock Roofing provided gutters)

mailto:ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Maple RidgePitt MeadowsptsdRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Hope, delivered a statement in the hybrid sitting of the House of Commons on March 23, 2021, calling on the Liberal government to present a plan for when COVID-19 restrictions can be safely eased. (Screenshot/ Mark Strahl)
Chilliwack Hope MP Strahl says federal budget doesn’t reflect needs of Canadians

MP says budget illustrates that Liberals don’t have a plan to recover from COVID-19 losses

The spooky scarecrow of the Valley Huskers takes on the logo of the Regina Thunder in a national social media contest produced by Football Canada.
Huskers logo needs your online vote in semi-final round of Football Canada contest

The scarecrow has 2 more foes to vanquish to be named the best amateur football logo in the country

Kosumi Street in the Sardis neighbourhood of Chilliwack was opened to traffic on April 14, 2021. (City of Chilliwack)
New connector road in Sardis opened to traffic

Kosumi Street was named to honour roots of Japanese-Canadian family that settled in Chilliwack

Rene Cortin/Wikimedia commons
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society pilot program promotes garden growing

Twenty Chilliwack families are participating in the ‘Garden Box to the Table’ program

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read