When teen gymnast Jacoby Miles returns home from the hospital, shell finally have her own bedroom.
It will be a touch of normalcy for the 15-year-old Puyallup girl, who was paralyzed from the middle of her chest down Nov. 16 after landing on her neck during a dismount off uneven bars during practice.
The Ballou Junior High student once shared a room with two sisters. Now, shell have her own master bedroom, walk-in closet and roll-in shower.
Volunteers began work Tuesday on the Miles home, armed with plans to gut and remodel the downstairs and add 1,300 square feet so Jacoby has more space as she adjusts to her condition.
The idea is to give her enough room so she has the freedom to move around, said Jacob Poisson, an East Pierce Fire & Rescue firefighter and construction company owner acting as project foreman.
The community has rallied around Miles, donating nearly $85,000, organizing fundraisers, sending cards and well wishes and volunteering to make her house ADA accessible.
Workers plan to complete the remodel by Dec. 23 so Miles can be home with her parents and five younger siblings for Christmas.
With less than two weeks to pull it off, volunteers gathered at the Puyallup home by 4 a.m. Tuesday and put in a long day. They installed subflooring and put up walls for the new addition, which makes the family backyard all but obsolete.
The original idea was to put in a ramp so Miles could wheel herself in and out of the house. Then volunteers realized how narrow the doorways were and that the family was already living in close quarters.
Plans developed to build Miles a master bedroom downstairs. Since her parents, Gretchen and Jason, refused to be far from their daughter as she gets used to having a serious spinal-chord injury, the plans include a second master bedroom for them across the hall.
The laundry room will be bigger. The garage is being modified to house her new wheelchair-accessible van.
A new great room and kitchen are being built in an open design to accommodate a wheelchair. The kitchen will include appliances catered for the teen, including a prep sink because she loves baking.
Minor improvements are also being made to the bedrooms upstairs, where Miles siblings will stay.
Its not just Jacoby whos being affected, said Michael Daniels, owner of Tacoma-based Daniels Construction. Its the whole family. We want to help out.
Daniels, whose son plays soccer with one of Miles brothers, and his employees are donating their time to help hustle the construction along. The project is valued at $75,000.
Julie Malloy, who is coordinating volunteer efforts for Team Jacoby, said everybody is pitching in to help where they can. Several local companies donated materials. Workers are offering their skills. Neighbors are bringing by food and coffee to fuel the volunteers.
Ive never seen such community outpouring, Malloy said.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
HOW TO HELP
For information on how to help Team Jacoby, or to follow her progress, visit www.goteamjacoby.com.