Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stockbridge teen benefits from Henry County Fuller For Housing, Inc.Center

Article courtesy of Henry County Times©

Jacob Adams with 4-year-old sister Avery enjoy a day out at Stone Mountain.

By Cristy Smith
Staff writer

Most all of us know what it is like to be a teenager eager for more independence and so badly wanting to inch further and further away from the nest. But what if you were a teenager unable to walk?

Jacob Adams, 14, was diagnosed before birth, with Spina Bifida, a condition where the backbone and spinal canal do not close, and he has never known that independence.

“He is unable to go outside by himself, and he has to crawl to get to his bathroom,” explained Carrie Adams, Jacob’s mom.

But thanks to the Henry County Fuller Center, a non-profit housing organization, and the employees from the True Value Regional Distribution Center in Jonesboro, Jacob now has a direct route from his bedroom to his bathroom. A wheelchair friendly door was added to Jacob’s bathroom entrance from his bedroom, handicap bars were added to the bathroom, and a wall-hung sink in the kitchen that he can access easily, and a 10’ by 10’ deck with ramp were constructed on the rear of the Adams’ home.

Henry County Fuller Center volunteers partnered with the True Value employees this past weekend to upgrade Jacob’s home to American Disability Act (ADA) standards.

Not only does Jacob have to go through extreme measures to do what most would consider being simple tasks, but it has also been taking a toll on his body and even more importantly, his spine, making this project that much more urgent. These additions will give Jacob more independence and lessen the stress on his spine.

“Jacob has scoliosis and has had a complete spinal fusion where they straighten the vertebrae and insert a rod and wiring which is tough on his spine… usually it’s just a portion of someone’s spine that this is done to, but this had to be done to his entire backbone,” said Carrie. “I really worried about him crawling from his bedroom to the bathroom.”

Now that Jacob is able to get himself around, his 4-year-old sister Avery will not have as much fun pushing him around in his wheelchair inside the house.

“Avery really enjoys pushing her big brother around and helping him out,” said Carrie. “Even though they’re 10 years apart they are very close.”

The modifications made to his room and bathroom have Jacob enjoying his teenage independence and has allowed him more time to do activities like watching wrestling, listening to music, playing guitar and drums, playing on his PlayStation and facebooking.

“Jacob keeps telling me he loves his new bachelor pad,” laughed Carrie. “It really is quite amazing what they did. It’s perfect.”

According to Shane Persaud, President of the Henry County Fuller Center, anyone living in substandard housing is eligible to apply for assistance from the organization.

For more information on The Henry County Fuller Center, to inquire about a housing application, or to become a volunteer, visit their website at or

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