Community Story: Transforming Hailey’s Home
Hailey lives with muscular dystrophy, and in recent months, the disease has progressed. Hailey lost the ability to walk and now relies on a wheelchair for mobility. The change in her level of care was especially challenging for her mom— who had a hard time lifting and placing Hailey into the bathtub.
“We just knew that we’d have to do something eventually,” shares Chris, Hailey’s father.
Another family with a child with disabilities recommended that Hailey’s mom, Jennifer, reach out to Tucker’s House for direction about special accommodations for Hailey.
Tucker’s House is a United Way partner that launched in 2009 to help the families of children with disabilities assess and retrofit their homes for greater safety and accessibility. When Jennifer contacted Tucker’s House, they understood her concerns. Families often spend a significant portion of their income on medical care, therapy, special equipment, childcare, and other essentials— which leaves little to no resources for home modification.
Tucker’s House utilizes staff expertise and community partnerships to provide construction management and financial assistance to eligible Middle Tennessee families. The agency partners with local contractors and skilled volunteers to complete retrofit and renovation projects. “And the things they thought of, we hadn’t thought about,” Chris says. For example, the Tucker’s House team recommended that contractors widen Hailey’s bedroom door for better mobility.
When contractors visited the family’s home to assess the project, Chris offered to complete the majority of the demolition. “I wanted to give back during the process.” He initiated the bathroom demo, and then the renovation team transformed it into a space that twelve-year-old Hailey can enjoy.
“She loves water,” her father says. The new walk-in shower is wheelchair accessible, which helps Chris and Jennifer care for their daughter without constant physical strain. A roll-under sink was also installed in the bathroom, and Chris and Jennifer added a touchless soap dispenser to the new space. Hailey loves being able to use these amenities on her own. “That little bit of independence means a lot to Hailey.”
The improvements did not stop there. Hailey received a new front door ramp, which makes it much easier for Hailey’s parents and siblings to help her enter and exit their home. “Tucker’s House thought of everyone in the process,” Chris shares. The home modifications are convenient for the whole family.
Hailey’s parents were surprised about (and very appreciate of) the after-construction follow-up. “[Tucker’s House] has come back twice to add a step at the bottom of the ramp and to smooth out doorway transitions,” Chris says. “They followed-up because they care about doing a job.”