Ryan Strong was doing what he loved most – paragliding with his fiancé, Kasi – when tragedy struck. While in the air, winds picked up and Ryan attempted to turn. But the winds pushed him towards the terrain faster and more forcibly than usual. At 30 mph, he hit the ground feet first, and tumbled down a hill. Within twenty minutes he was on a Flight for Life to stabilize his injury, but the damage had been done and the prognosis was soon clear: Ryan was now paralyzed.
During his rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, he and Kasi learned about the Home Builders Foundation, a metro-Denver based nonprofit that builds independence for those living with disabilities through home modifications. They applied for assistance and were visited by staff and volunteers to assess the project. From there, the HBF began sourcing a Project Captain to complete the work. Coincidentally, Ned Stitt from EJS Builders, Inc., a local contractor, and his team had a personal connection to the recipient. Their crew partnered with HBF to make the bathroom accessible, a value of $13,000 and no cost to Ryan.
“My business partner mentioned that his friend Ryan had recently been in a paragliding accident and needed home modifications to accommodate a wheelchair. We were able to complete the project shortly after he returned home. This project was very special for me because I have a direct connection to Ryan and we share several common interest and activities.” – Ned Stitt, President of EJS Builders, Inc.
The final modification Ryan and Kasi need is a ramp to their home. This time, the HBF will provide a Project Captain to lead a crew of volunteers from Craig Hospital, as part of the HBF’s 9th Annual Blitz Build.
“We always look forward to the Blitz Build and the opportunity to get out and give back to our community by increasing accessibility across the Denver Metro Area,” says Niki Abeyta, Clinical Care Manager at Craig Hospital and HBF Board Member. “This year, it’s even more special as Team Craig will be part of completing home modifications for Ryan Strong, a former Craig patient.”
Upon completion of the ramp, the total value of the work completed by the HBF and its partners for Ryan will be close to $20,000. More importantly, these modifications will increase Ryan’s safety and independence.
“We were devastated after Ryan’s accident. Life suddenly became more complicated when we realized it would need to be navigated on four wheels. Thanks to the Home Builders Foundation, Ryan is able to navigate our home with ease. Through their dedication, volunteers, and honorable cause, Ryan can live life as he did before: independently. We cannot thank the Home Builders Foundation or their volunteers enough for their generosity and care. Thank you!” – Kasi, Ryan’s fiancée