Just weeks after his wedding day, Nathan Franklin was involved in a golf cart accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Though he is currently confined to a wheelchair, with the help of his wife, Melissa, he continues to re-learn how do simple tasks. Nathan and Melissa spent almost three years living in a small apartment with little room for Nathan to move around in his wheelchair. Even though the apartment was deemed accessible, their living conditions didn’t meet their needs. Nathan couldn’t access areas in the apartment. Nathan’s wheelchair couldn’t fit in the bathroom, leaving him to brush his teeth in the hallway. The next step in Nathan’s treatment was home environment therapy. To continue to make successful progress, the Franklins knew they needed a change.
“There was no room in the apartment to practice daily living skills, therefore goals couldn’t be made because we couldn’t work on them at home,” said Melissa.
With the help of Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County, the Franklins found their first truly accessible home. A universal design home was built with wider hallways, roll in showers, casement windows that crank out, lower light switches, lower counter tops and more. Melissa immediately noticed the difference, “Nathan’s independence has already soared! I love how open it is and that there is plenty of turn around spaces for his wheelchair. He can even roll his chair under the countertop and make us lunch!”