ARVADA, Colorado – Thanks to local and national nonprofit organizations, life is about to get a whole lot easier for a local veteran and his wife.
“She has to carry me up the stairs,” Tyler Wilson said, speaking about what his wife Crystal does for him several times a week.
Wilson was wounded while serving in the army in Afghanistan. He was shot four times, is paralyzed from the waist down and now uses a wheelchair.
The house that the couple recently moved into is not fully wheelchair accessible. That’s where carrying comes in.
“A few times a week,” Crystal said. “I put him on my back, piggyback him, and carry him upstairs.”
This is whenever Tyler wants to take a shower or go to the nursery.
“I told him a long time ago when we first started dating that if his legs weren’t working, I would do anything in my power to be his legs,” Crystal said.
She’s a firefighter, but admits it’s not easy. The two know it’s not sustainable either, but they don’t have the nearly $200,000 in their budget to make their home fully accessible.
“We made a $60,000 donation that we raised from our donor community,” said Francesca DiPaola, CEO of Homes for Veterans.
This money, along with a VA grant and other donations, will be enough to plan and pay for a home remodel for the Wilsons.
“The work we’re able to do here will really transform Tyler’s life,” said Andrew Canales of Houses for Warriors, a nonprofit organization for Colorado veterans that organizes things locally. “And that’s right there, it just fills my heart, fills my soul, keeps me going, keeps me doing this work.”
Renovations include a new kitchen, new master bathroom and a raised living room floor. Work will be performed by local contractors including Colorado Homes & Design.
The biggest part of making the home more accessible will be installing an elevator.
“Tyler can be safe at home with our boys, go upstairs and not have to be carried upstairs anymore,” Crystal said.
“It’s one of the greatest gifts,” Tyler said. “To get that normalcy and independence back.”
Construction is to begin soon.
“It’s really going to change my life in every way,” Tyler said.
For more information or to donate to Homes for Veterans, click here.
For more information or to donate to Houses for Warriors, click here.