Tucker was born a healthy and beautiful nine- pound baby boy. He looked so much like his big brother, and his parents, Josh and Alisha (Sunny’s son and daughter-in-law), were excited to get their baby home to start a new adventure as a family of four. They had no idea exactly how difficult that adventure would be. On Tucker’s second day of life he had his first seizure.
Tucker’s seizures were soon diagnosed as Infantile Spasms, a particularly damaging type of seizure. Over the next several weeks (between CT scans, MRI’s, EEG’s and every blood test imaginable), Tucker was averaging fifty to seventy-five seizures a day. Almost every anti-seizure medication available —some with life-threatening side effects—was tried to stop the seizures. At one point, the neurologist was considering removing half of Tucker’s brain. The family was told if the doctors could not get the multiple seizures under control, Tucker might not survive.
Amazingly, Tucker’s seizures abruptly stopped when he was four months old. To this day he is seizure free, but the seizures he had left damage in their wake. Even though Tucker is happy and absolutely delights everyone who knows him, he does not walk or talk. When Tucker was three-and-a-half years old, it became very clear that Josh and Alisha were going to need special accommodations in their home in order for Tucker to use his gait trainer and carry out his daily therapy. They could also see that it wouldn’t be long before they would need a bathroom modification which would include a wheelchair accessible shower.
Seeing their need and wanting to lend support, Sunny began her search for any programs that would help families make their homes safe, accessible, and therapy friendly. She spoke with clinicians, therapists and families of children with special needs, and it soon became evident that there were no such programs. Nor were there financial resources to fully provide funding for these modifications.
Families with a special needs child spend so much money on medical care, therapy, special equipment and training, school, child care, and other essentials that often they have nothing left for home modification. Even though the retrofit would make a huge difference in their lives, it is a necessity they simply cannot afford.
Tucker’s family is blessed to have him, and he has inspired something very special. Sunny, her family, and our Board of Directors are excited to serve the community through the mission of Tucker’s House.
ABOUT TUCKER’S HOUSE
Tucker’s House is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been developed to partner with the families of children with disabilities by providing the home renovation and retrofitting services and resources necessary to make their homes safe and more accessible.
We assist families in accessing resources that can help meet their specific immediate, intermediate and long term needs that make their home a place that is not only accessible and safe but where the child can carry out their necessary daily therapy and be as independent as possible.