Community partner, PASCO shares Tyler’s Story

A few days ago, PASCO (a HBF community partner), published a wonderful spotlight on past HBF recipient Tyler W. Here are some highlights from the PASCO page– to see the full story visit 

My name is Tyler Wesley, I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and grew up to be a pretty active and outgoing young boy. I have an older sister named Asia and the loveliest and sweetest mom anyone could possibly meet. I truly am very lucky and fortunate to call this woman my mother. Growing up I was a big soccer player and dedicated everything I had to that sport because I loved it that much. Making the varsity soccer team as a freshman at my high school was such a huge accomplishment for myself and my future. I always wanted, and knew, that I would become a professional soccer player ever since I was 4 years old.

Unfortunately, the unexpected happened

I was involved in a rollover accident on May 20th, 2012 at the age of 15 the end of my sophomore year in high school that lead me with a broken neck and breaking my C-4 vertebrae and being paralyzed from the shoulders down resulting with me having a spinal cord injury and being a quadriplegic. My life would forever change in a matter of seconds.

When I got into my accident I was first emitted to Denver Health because they were a level one trauma ICU, that is where they started to do my surgery immediately on the back of my neck. On the second day, they did another surgery on the front of my neck. I stayed there for five days and was debating on either going to Children’s Hospital because I was only 15 years old at the time or Craig Hospital to do my therapy’s because they specialize in spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. Luckily, my mom and I picked Craig Hospital because they’re one of the top rehabilitation hospitals for spinal cord injuries in the world. It was such an amazing place to be at and it felt just like home….almost.  All of the nurses, techs, doctors, and therapists were so nice and caring to me and my family. They provided so much information to me and with the hands-on care from the occupational and physical therapists, I was able to regain movement and build strength back while I was there.

Home Modifications

Home Builders Foundation has been such a huge help for me and my family because my quality of life has improved so much from the modifications they did to my house. One thing they did was build a ramp at my front door, so I can easily stroll my power wheelchair to get inside my house. Another thing that they did was make a new bedroom for me since mine was on the second floor and there was no way that I could get up there because of how many stairs there were to get up there. Before they built my new bedroom, I had to sleep in my living room for a couple months on my hospital bed which was not practical for me at all and it also made me feel embarrassed since I was so young back then as a young teenage boy who needed his privacy just like any other teenager would want. The thing that they did on the main floor was convert half of my garage into my bedroom and put an accessible bathroom and a shower right next to it. Once it was all finished, I was so happy and grateful that I could take a shower whenever I wanted to because I had to take a sponge bath almost every day in my bed because there was no way that I could take a shower in my house at the time. The other thing that my mom and I would have to do if I wanted a really good shower, so I can feel clean and good about myself was to go to our friend’s office building almost every other night to take a shower over there because they had an accessible bathroom/shower inside. It started to turn more into a hassle for me and especially my mom because she would have to take my heavy commode chair and put it in the back of our trunk and then transfer me with a sliding board every time. It also took a fair amount of time to get there from my house which took a lot of time and made us even more tired, but we stayed motivated, positive, and stayed strong because we knew things would eventually get better with time. Now when I think about it to this day, all of the struggles and hard times we’ve endured back then has made me such a stronger person physically and mentally today.