Brian Miller is a 39-year-old with a traumatic brain injury from a motocross accident 16 years ago. Since the accident, Miller has been wheelchair bound and his 6’2”, 230 lb frame made it difficult to maneuver on the 40-foot long existing ramp at his house.
THORNTON, CO, April 4, 2012 – The Home Builders Foundation of Metro Denver (HBF) recently completed a home modification project for Brian Miller, a 39year-old victim of a traumatic brain injury from a motocross accident 16 years ago. Since the accident, Miller has been wheelchair bound and his 6’2”, 230 lb frame made it difficult to maneuver on the 40-foot long existing ramp at his house. His feet were constantly jammed against the ramp and his elbows were regularly scraping the ramp resulting in splinters and bumps.
Michelle Henderson, his social worker with Colorado Alliance for Health and Independence (COAHI), reached out to HBF to replace the existing ramp with one that would more appropriately meet his needs. COAHI had recently partnered with the HBF to apply for a DORA grant to help COAHI clients that need home modifications.
“HBF has access to people that can actually do the work,” said Henderson. With the support of COAHI grants to fund for the home remodeling “we could make sure that the grant funds could stretch as far as they can..”
Nathan Colburn of Accessible Systems served as the Project Captain of the Miller project. “Accessible Systems originally helped the Millers with an overhead ceiling lift that helps him get from bed to wheelchair or shower chair,” said Colburn. “For the last 8 years, Brian had a long ramp which was narrow and steep and breaking apart.” after a HBF site visit, Colburn and his team determined that a vertical lift would be a better long-term solution for Brian.
The HBF received board approval for the project in the first week of December and it was completed by the end of that month. The estimated retail value of the entire project was project was approximately $10,000. The majority of the cost was covered by the joint grant from COAHI and HBF; Accessible Systems donated the remainder of the cost of labor and materials.
“We worked with 6 technicians and an electrician. The existing ramp was removed and areas were excavated for a large concrete pad. Then we installed the lift and gate,” said Colburn.
Brian can now be out of the weather as he exits his home, and the vertical platform lift makes it easy on him and his caretakers. Now he can go to school, or to the doctors, or out to have some fun much more easily thus improving his accessibility and his independence.
The Millers were pleased with the timeliness of the project and the professionalism of the HBF home building crew. “HBF was done with the project so fast. They talked about it and it was done very quickly. A million thanks for everybody that was involved!” said Miller.
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