Teen gymnast Jacoby Miles plans to come home from the hospital Monday, but she saw Sunday that its not exactly the same house she left.
Miles got a sneak peak of the 1,300 square feet added to her familys South Hill home. It was one of the 15-year-olds only outings from the hospital since a dismount from the uneven/parallel bars Nov. 16 left her paralyzed from the mid-chest down.
Doctors have said it will be a miracle if she walks again, but they hope she will regain the use of her hands. She was able to drive up the family driveway in her electric chair Sunday.
Friends, family and the community came together to make the home ADA accessible and complete the roughly $75,000 renovation in three weeks.
That means someone was at the house around the clock during that time, said Melanie Roach, an organizer of the project and owner of the Sumner gym where Miles was injured.
We slept like an hour last night, Roach said, adding that crews were working until the last minute before the Miles family arrived. The amount of time, materials and labor donated was incredible, she said.
About 200 volunteers made the renovation possible, including Pierce County firefighters, workers from Lowes, and many other individuals and businesses, Roach said.
The Miles family hoped to have their daughter home for Christmas, and Roach said the teenager was scheduled to return home Monday.
Part of that process was making sure the house was ready, and volunteers did that.
The house has widened doorways, an ADA-compliant bathroom, and a bedside lift, among other things.
There also are personal touches.
The Miles Christmas stockings were hung, a tree trimmed, the table set for a holiday meal, and the fixings for Christmas dinner were in the refrigerator, ready for the familys return.
Part of the addition is a new bedroom for Jacoby. When she comes home, the oldest of six siblings wont have to share a room for the first time, and the same goes for twin brother Kaleb, who was excited to find his sports posters hanging in his new digs Sunday.
The volunteers got the decor just right in Jacobys room, too, she said.
She smiled and cried as she looked around the bedroom for the first time, which has her favorite Scriptures on the wall, as well as gymnastics paraphernalia signed by famous athletes.
On one wall is a poster signed by the Fab Five 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.
The other displays Jacobys leotards, and the grips she was wearing when she fell.
Roach had given her teasers of what the room would be like, but seeing it Sunday was important, the teen said.
I had some idea a little bit, but you dont know how good it will be until you see it, Jacoby said. All I can say is its amazing, and I cant wait to come home.
When she does, a new painting on the wall above her bed is one thing that might give her further inspiration for her recovery.
Its a line from her favorite song, by artist Britt Nicole, she said: Youre still that girl and youre gonna change the world.
Alexis Krell: 2534-597-8688
HOW TO HELP
To donate to help with the Miles ongoing medical costs, call 253-826-5999 or visit goteamjacoby.com
Upcoming fundraisers are posted on the website.