ReFIT Portland | Home Modifications Nonprofit

A Family's Devastating Wake-Up Call

In March 2017, 18-year-old senior high school student, Tim S., was suddenly attacked with a devastating illness that changed his life.

The disease affected the myelin in his body has left him paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. There is no treatment for this disease.

However, the doctors and Tim’s family have the slight hope that with time his myelin will slowly regenerate (a maximum of only 1mm a month) and he will regain motor function of his legs and feet. There are no guarantees, but according to Tim’s dad the family has chosen to look at each day “as a chance to improve, get stronger, and face the day’s adventure with a positive attitude and a kind heart”.

Tim’s dad is a 2-time military veteran, so the family qualified as a recipient of the ReFIT Home Depot Grant. He served in the Navy for 9 years, then in the Oregon Army National Guard for 14 more years. Tim’s dad is over 90% disabled himself due to issues from Afghanistan and is only able to work part-time and intermittently. Tim’s mom has lost, and continues to lose, over 25% of her income since Tim’s illness first started.

This family was really hurting and desperately needed ReFIT’s help.


On a Mission to Make a Wheelchair Accessible Home

In order for Tim to be able to come home from the hospital and rehab (after a total of almost 6 months), extensive remodeling had to be done in order to accommodate Tim and his wheelchair.

The renovations took several months to complete. Dave Hallin and his team from Kennedy Restoration pulled out the carpet in the entire downstairs and replaced it with flooring, so Tim can safely maneuver his wheelchair in the space.

The basement bedroom/family room was made more accessible by widening doors, adding built-ins, and reconfiguring closets. Two bedrooms upstairs were made into one large bedroom with wider doors, reconfigured closets, and lighting that is controlled by hand-held remotes.

The team also installed new LVT flooring to make the area wheelchair accessible. The final part of the project will be the installation of a wheelchair accessible ramp.


Homebound to a Better Life

Thank you to Dave Hallin of Kennedy Restoration, who was the project manager for this project. Dave and his crew put their hearts and countless volunteer hours into this family and their project.

Also, thanks to the Troutdale Home Depot for donating most of the materials for the project, and to their Team Depot employees who will help with the labor for the ramp.