On December 21, 2009, Wyatt Welch was warming up for a high school wrestling match when he was improperly pinned to the mat and landed on his neck. Welch was in his junior year in high school at the time, and was an elite athlete who qualified for the Montana State Track and Field competition in the Triple Jump division. During his progressive high school years, Welch’s accident left him permanently disabled with a C4 Quadriplegia spinal cord injury. Heartbroken from the injury and left with unfinished dreams for his athletic aspirations, Welch and his family relocated to Denver because the local community in Montana was ill prepared to care for his condition.
Welch relocated to Denver to complete his rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado; Craig Hospital could provide optimum care for those with the physical and immobility injuries. The relocation gave Wyatt a whole new outlook on life and with the availability of care, Wyatt seemed to have brighter opportunities in the future. He even enrolled in college.
After his first year of school, however, Wyatt felt that he needed the support of his family more regularly than they could offer with him away at school. With this plan, Wyatt will be able to study for his college classes in evening hours and the new permanent residency will reduce nursing costs for the Wyatt’s family. The family determined that Wyatt should move home; the only problem was the family’s home isn’t accessible.
The Home Builders Foundation received his application for assistance to renovate the family’s Littleton home. After reviewing the application, the HBF approved the renovation project, which has an estimated value exceeding $30,000, to help improve Wyatt’s accessibility at home.
The project, which began in July and was completed in September, was overseen by Project Captain Dave Jackson (Majestic Development Companies). The renovation included an accessible bathroom remodel, ramp and indoor vertical platform lift (provided by Accessible Systems). By living in his family’s home, he will be able to decrease nursing care costs as well as college room and board costs. Beyond that, however, is the independence Wyatt has gained through the assistance from the HBF. His dad, Ross, summed it up when he said “It goes from a life of every day is a challenge to now…….we don’t have those challenges”.