Donating Bonuses to Help Autistic Child

May 11, 2009
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MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - In a burst of generosity, the employees of Flood Air decided to forgo their year-end bonuses in 2008. Instead, they pooled the money to donate a top-of-the-line central a/c and air-cleaning system to a local family: the Hidirlars. This family had concluded they wanted a top-of-the-line air purifier to help their son Kayra with health issues that might be affected by the home’s IAQ. When it was determined that the system could purify the air in their home, the Flood Air employees didn’t hesitate to act with kindness and generosity.

THE CATALYST

In May of 2008, Turker and Rabia Hidirlar’s two-year-old son Kayra was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Like most parents, they immediately started educating themselves about the complex developmental disability.

The employees of Flood Air pooled their bonus money to donate a central a/c and air-cleaning system to the Hidirlars. They hoped to help their son, Kayra, with health issues that might be affected by the home’s IAQ.

According to the March of Dimes, symptoms of autism typically appear before the age of three. “Rabia and I soon discovered that autism is a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills,” said Turker. “The education process was very intense; we both spent many hours researching on the Internet, as well as available literature and published research papers.

“When Kayra’s (prenatal) genes were tested early on for any potential damage,” he continued, “there was a miniscule chance he would have the disorder.” Therefore, Kayra’s case is probably not genetically caused. It is more likely that once he was born, exposure to environmental toxins may have been the cause.

“Once he was diagnosed, we quickly realized that his case was probably induced by the environment,” said Turker. “There is not yet concrete evidence in this area, but thousands of autism cases are linked to a composite of environmental factors.”

According to the March of Dimes, symptoms of autism typically appear before the age of three. Kayra Hidirlar’s case is probably not genetically caused but was due to environmental factors. His parents wanted to do the best they could to improve the home’s environment for their children.

GUT REACTION

After hearing about the family’s need for an air purification system, Eugene Flood, owner of local dealer Flood Air, wanted to help. “After talking to Turker for just a few minutes, right away I knew the Carrier Infinity System would be the perfect fit to control humidity and indoor air pollution in the home,” Flood said. “However, his budget wouldn’t allow it. I wanted to take action to help this family.”

After that phone conversation, Flood told his team about the family. After hearing of the possibility of helping the Hidirlar family by donating a system, Flood said each employee willingly gave up their year-end bonus to purchase the system. On the day of installation, the whole team went to the family’s home, ate pizza together, and took photos.

The Hidirlar family quickly shared a bond with the company. “We nicknamed Eugene the Air Doctor because of the wealth of knowledge he has due to the health needs of his wife,” Turker said. Flood’s wife also is susceptible to illness due to a respiratory disease; their home requires a system that can meet specific levels of humidity and air purification.

Hidirlar said the employees at Flood Air were thorough professionals. “I was impressed by their passion, their professionalism, and the attention to detail in everything starting from the phone calls, the exchange of information, and first inspection, to the installation and related services. My service experience with Flood Air was distinguished by service, technical knowledge, and commitment to perfection.”

Kayra is due for his routine tests this month. The family is now saving for these upcoming tests, as insurance does not cover them. By keeping Kayra’s diet, therapies, and other factors the same, there will be valid data to compare Kayra’s health before and after the installation of the system.

“Every night we can now be sure that Kayra is breathing clean and purified air,” said Hidirlar. “We will be forever grateful for those families who declined their Christmas bonuses in order to help my family. We are humbled.”

Publication date: 05/11/2009

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