UPDATE: Patuxent Habitat to Embark on the First Multi-Dwelling Rehabilitation Project.

May 17, 2013

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UPDATE 5/17/2013: 

For the past two years, Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, located in Southern Maryland has been awarded through Habitat for Humanity International The Home Depot Foundation Veterans Repair Corps grant. The Repair Corps program was established by The Home Depot Foundation to provide home repairs for veterans. Some of these repairs include insulation, weather stripping and accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps and wider doorways. Larger repairs such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural improvements are also available.

Through the affiliate Patuxent Habitat for Humanity Chad Madden, a local Southern Maryland navy veteran, is a recent recipient of the grant. Madden separated from the US Navy as an avionics technician. During his time with the navy he served in wartime on two carriers – the USS America and USS George Washington. After his military service, Madden became an avid sky diver and completed over 700 jumps. In 2012, he had a near fatal skydiving accident whereby he sustained life threatening injuries so severe he is now a quadriplegic. To add to this tragic story, after his accident, his parents left their home in Mountain Home, Idaho to be with their son and while in the hospital their home was completely destroyed by wildfires. They have nothing left with the exception of the clothes they brought with them to the hospital. Madden was hospitalized for over 8 months and returned to his home in California, MD in November 2012 with his parents and brother providing 24/7 round the clock care. Madden also has a home health nurse and physical therapist provided to him from the VA.Madden’s condo is in desperate need of additional space, precisely his bedroom, to accommodate his motorized wheelchair, hospital bed, oxygen tanks, ventilator machine, wet chair, and the incredible amounts of medical supplies to sustain his daily health requirements. Currently, his bathroom does not meet any of his disability requirements. He is in need of a wet shower and handicapped sink and accessibility.

Through the generous grant of The Home Depot Foundation and Patuxent Habitat for Humanity’s Gary Sense Memorial Veterans Repair Corps, Patuxent Habitat for Humanity has been approved by Habitat International to complete handicap accessibility renovations for Chad. This renovation is in a condominium, which is the first of its kind in the nation with The Home Depot Foundation grant. Many long hours of planning and organizing have been put into this project long before the construction begins on May 21st. Coordination with and the direct support of the HOA Board for the Residences of Wildewood Condominiums has enabled this project to move forward. Architect, Andy Shizak of Blake Creek Design drafted the new design and layout of the space. Brooks Run Builders is the general contractor. “We are privileged to work on this challenging veteran’s project. We are committed to delivering a safe and accessible home to Chad,” said Jim Bacot, owner of Brooks Run Builders, Inc. Additionally, Patuxent Habitat for Humanity has sought to implement new and advanced technology in order to accommodate his physical limitations and needs. The Veterans Administration contracted Speak4Use to install the enviornmentals to improve Chad’s quality life. Speak4Use is assistive technology merging hardware with voice recognition designed to enable individuals with limited or no ability complete access to environment, entertainment and computer applications using simple voice commands for optimal health and independence. Finally, Patxuent volunteers and friends of Chad will provide labor and assistance in seeing the total renovation come to completion.

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity is asking the community to help support their veterans projects by donating to this most worthy cause. Funds are desperately needed to help defray the expenses of this extensive project. All donations made to the Veterans Repair program go directly to the veteran community. If you are willing to make a contribution, please donate to the Patuxent Habitat for Humanity’s “Veterans Repair” program. For more information, call Colleen at 301.863.6227 or email at colleen@patuxenthabitat.org.

Original Story April 10, 2013:

In a few weeks, Patuxent Habitat for Humanity will begin a four- or five-day renovation project to assist a disabled veteran. Chad Madden is a retired Navy veteran with six and half years of service. After retirement, Madden worked at NAS PAX as a Navy Civilian for NavAir. He did so, until he suffered a skydiving accident which left him a quadriplegic.

“I was training for a Swoop Competition and on my last drop I crashed,” stated Madden. He explained and showed YouTube footage of what a Swoop Competition was – where parachutists drop from only 700 feet, make a hard turn and rush along the ground inches above the ground for as long as they can, attaining the fastest run along the ground. “We make the turn at about 70 miles per hour and then have to convert the vertical energy to horizontal to attain the highest speed and the longest distance to touchdown,” said Madden.

He suffered a fracture to his C2 vertebrae which damaged his spinal cord. “It was not severed, but it left me with no movement in any of my extremities. I do have some feeling, but nothing else,” said Madden.

Colleen Malebranche from Patuxent Habitat for Humanity said, “This is an exciting project, being the first one of its kind on the county and Chad is an amazing person.”
Madden responded by saying he has been ‘blown away’ by the help and attention to detail the Habitat people have done in preparing to renovate his condominium.

“We are going to move the bedroom wall out and open up passageways to make it easier for Chad to move through the house in his wheelchair. We are also going to convert his closet into a wheelchair-ready full bath and we’re looking for a sensor that Chad can use to control the water.”

The program, The Home Depot Foundation’s Habitat Rehabilitation Project involves many area companies. In addition to the Foundation and Habitat, directly involved in the project are the HOA Board of Residences at Wildewood Condominiums, Home Depot, Waldorf, Blake Creek Designs, Lusby, C&C Plumbing, Hollywood, Residential & Commercial Fire Protection, Waldorf, Christmas in April, Calvert County, and Speak4Use.

“This would not be possible without this direct help from these great companies,” said Malebranche.

According to Pete Dettling, Sustainable Building Specialist with Habitat for Humanity International, “With the Home Depot Foundation and it’s continued commitment and effort to give back to the veteran population, we are excited to announce that Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, through the Habitat for Humanity Repair Corps program, will be overseeing the first multi-dwelling unit rehabilitation project dealing with universal design in the nation.”
Dettling went on to say that “We believe that the hard work and diligence already proven by the staff at Patuxent Habitat for Humanity will only continue in the success of the project for Mr. Madden …”

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