With your help, our grantees are moving forward with their lives. The Foundation is proud to have played a role in their success stories, some of which are illustrated here:
Kyle lives with his mother in Coventry. Injured in a diving accident in 1979, Kyle requested a computer to help him with his work making architectural models in wood. With an OHHF grant, Kyle got a new computer system with Dragon voice software, an upgraded router and printer, a Geek Squad in-house set-up and a full year of tech support.
Hollie, who is from Darien, has a spinal cord injury caused by a tumor on her spine. On a scooter provided by OHHF in 2009, Hollie navigated the halls of Darien High School. She is now a pre-med student at UCONN. Partnering with other local charities, OHHF has helped to pay Hollie’s tuition.
Leo J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center offers outdoor ski experience to individuals with a range of disabilities, including spinal cord injury. OHHF has partnered with the Leo Center in purchasing a new monoski, enabling many ex-athletes to enjoy once more the thrill of the downhill ride.
Archie, who is from Southington, had a diving accident nearly 30 years ago, resulting in a C-5/6 spinal cord injury. Now married, Archie works as an IT engineer for an insurance company. His wheelchair van had become unreliable and required Archie to use a transfer board. With a vehicle grant from OHHF, Scot was able to purchase a new van with a wheelchair lift, allowing him to continue working and giving him a comfortable commute.
Joe Clayton Foundation, Hartford. OHHF continues to support the inspiring work of Joe Clayton. Born with spina bifada and now a double amputee, Joe plays professional wheelchair basketball and runs camps for disabled children and veterans.
Michael lives in New Haven. Early this year, Michael’s metastasized cancer injured his spinal cord. After rehabilitation treatment at Gaylord Hospital, Michael couldn’t be released to go home without solving access issues at his house. An OHHF grant funded a wheelchair ramp that allowed Michael to go home through his own front door.
Joe lives in New Haven. A victim of violent crime, Joe was shot in the back four times, resulting in paraplegia. Married and the father of three grown children, he requested assistance with a stair lift in his home so that he could get to his bedroom on the second floor.
Thalia lives in Waterbury. Eloise, who has spina bifida, has always used a wheelchair, but as she has grown, it has become increasingly difficult for her parents to lift her and her chair into the family’s van. With a grant from OHHF, a wheelchair lift was installed on their van so that Thalia can continue to participate fully in the life of her family and community.
Lucas, from Coventry, fell from a tree in 2010, causing a C-5 spinal cord injury. Now living independently in an apartment near his parents, Lucas asked for help to buy a lightweight manual wheelchair that could be loaded easily into a car. The manual chair gives Lucas exercise to increase strength in his upper body and expands his horizons as he pursues his career in art.
Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford CT, requested assistance with the purchase of a truck for its Adaptive Sports Department. OHHF provided funding for a pick-up truck to be used for hauling bikes, rugby wheelchairs, and other sports equipment for its disabled athletes. Gaylord described the grant as a “godsend for us.”
Patrick, from Middletown CT was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a spinal cord disease, which has left him disabled. Patrick was an excellent student and a leader at his high school; his application to OHHF was accompanied by glowing teacher references. Now a junior majoring in economics at Quinnipiac, OHHF is helping Greg pay his tuition.
OHHF grantee Stathis enjoyed The Big Assist with NHL’er Harrison Wallis. Record attendance and an exciting roster helped to make the event another wonderful success for the Foundation.
Ewan, from Trumbull CT, was injured in 1980 in a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Tim’s van needed a new set of driver modifications. OHHF partnered with two other national not-for-profits to make possible the installation of the system needed. Without our help, Ewan would become a prisoner in his home.
Paige, from New Britain CT, is a 40 year-old professor at Central Connecticut State who fell off her horse, resulting in paraplegia. OHHF was able to help Paige purchase exercise equipment for her home that was not completely covered by her insurance.
Jamie, from Portland CT, was injured in a motorcycle accident at the age of 21. He has managed to hold a job, drive a car, and own a home. A passionate dog lover, Jamie requested a service dog to provide a safety net and help with simple tasks around the house. Also, Jamie says that a dog will make it easier for him to socialize because people will “see the dog, and not the chair.”
Jordan , from New Haven, CT, manages the apartment building in which he lives independently. When the lift that provided access for him broke down, he became housebound. OHHF granted a new ramp so that Jonathon can come and go around the building, performing maintenance tasks and remaining independent.
Owen lives in Terryville, CT with his parents. Owen was born with spina bifada and is paralyzed from the waist down. He is an aspiring business entrepreneur interested in establishing a photography and photo editing enterprise. OHHF helped Matt purchase an adaptive van so that he can pursue his dream of owning and operating his own business.
Billy, who is from Greenwich, was injured in 1981 in a motorcycle accident. While he has worked hard at maintaining his independence and living alone, he requested assistance from OHHF with a power elevating seat option for his new wheelchair that was not covered by insurance. This feature allows Billy to reach cabinets and closets and the washer/dryer in his building. It also allows him to transfer more easily and safely from chair to bed.
Before he was injured in an auto accident 20 years ago, Nicholas, from Andover, CT, was an avid athlete. Now he is a middle school teacher, basketball coach, and has qualified to travel and train with the US Paralympic Curling team. Transferring in and out of his truck was taking a toll on his shoulders, so OHHF stepped in with a vehicle grant to help Steve purchase an adaptive van with a ramp.
In 2010, Zak, from Brookfield CT, fell from a ladder and suffered a spinal cord injury. Aided by his wife, he’s able to live and work at home. Zak asked for help with leg braces that enhance his current therapy and will prepare him to use robotic exoskeletal technology. Google: ReWalk fo view this exciting new development in spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
Lola, who lives with her other and brother in Norwalk CT, was born with spina bifada, a debilitating spinal cord condition. The family has had to rely on public transportation for all their needs. OHHF collaborated with two other organizations on a grant for an adaptive van. The van will allow Lola to participate fully in school and in her community and has been transformative in improving her quality of life.
Skye, an artist from Bridgeport CT, sustained an incomplete spinal cord injury in 2010 when diving in to shallow water. In 2011, OHHF helped Emily with a custom manual wheelchair. Since that time Emily has made progress with her rehabilitation and is determined to increase her mobility. She is moving to California by herself to pursue her art career and OHHF is paying for further therapy so that she can maintain her independence.
Prior to his accident over a year ago, David, from Rowayton CT, was a financial advisor. While working out at home, David fell and suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury. With intense therapy, he is starting to walk with the aid of a walker and has managed to go back to work at home on a part-time basis. The Darien/Rowayton community rallied around David’s family throughout his recovery and OHHF helped with a vehicle grant to purchase an adaptive van. Vince’s goal is to go back to work full time.
When she was a nursing student, Ellis from Brookfield CT, was injured in a car accident. Following multiple surgeries to improve her upper body function, Ellis can now use a manual wheelchair with power assist wheels funded by OHHF. The new wheels facilitate increased hand strength and allow Ellis to use a more portable manual chair then she is out with friends and family.
While snowmobiling in 2013, Andrew, from Norwalk CT, was injured and is now a quadriplegic. Formerly employed as a plumber, Andrew is now completely dependent on his family for all his needs. His brother is putting an addition on his own home to include an accessible residence for Andrew and his wife. OHHF has provided several critical parts for his power wheelchair that are not covered by insurance.