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For the past several years, David Beers has fought for the American dream in Lexington County. Unfortunately, he’s had to do that without his family by his side. But that changed Thursday night.
Beers moved to South Carolina seven years ago after winning a lottery in his home country of Liberia on the western coast of Africa. The opportunity granted him permission to work in the United States, and he then embarked on the long journey to seek out a better life for his family.
“It’s been a long time, but now I’m here with my father and everything’s going to be okay,” said Beers’ son Thomas, who was 10 when his father last saw him. Thomas is now just a week away from his 18th birthday and stands several inches taller than his father.
Beers eventually was hired by Lexington Medical Center and has worked at LMC Extended Care — the hospital’s nursing home — more than six years. LMC Public Relations Manager Jennifer Wilson said Beers is known around the facility for his outstanding work in the Environmental Services department.
Because of expensive travel costs, the father of four had to leave his family behind in Liberia. He’s been saving money but has not been able to see his wife, Klubor, and children — Robert, 20; Jannebah, 19; Christian, 14; and Thomas — since his arrival.
Thanks to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, Beers had a tearful reunion Thursday with Klubor and Thomas at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The 21-hour flight to come to the United States was the first time the two ever had left their village.
“I’m so happy,” Beers said. “My coworkers did a lot for me. I will never forget it.”
Beers had “been here seven years, working tirelessly every single day, trying to earn the money to bring his family,” said Lexington Medical Center Foundation Executive Director Tim James, who was among a crowd of co-workers at the airport for the homecoming who held signs to welcome Klubor and Thomas to their new home.
Beers had been able to save half the money needed to relocate his family, and he never asked for help. But Foundation members heard about Beers’ exceptional work record and his story and donated the rest of the funds to pay for five plane tickets and required medical testing the family members needed before traveling. Beers’ other children will fly to South Carolina once they are cleared to travel. The exact amount donated was not specified.
“What you saw tonight was the caring hearts of the staff at Lexington Medical Center,” James said. “This is what it means to be an extended family.”
David Beers, true to his record, told his supervisor he would be at work tomorrow. At the airport, however, he was told to take the day off and take his family shopping instead. He was handed an envelope of gift cards donated by his coworkers.