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Calgary girl injured in trampoline accident gets accessible home renovation

Alex Wist broke part of her neck last August in a gymnastics accident and has been adjusting to life in a wheelchair

Life is easier for Alex Wist now thanks to renovations donated by Hearts & Hammers that have made her home fully wheelchair accessible.

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

Life is easier for Alex Wist now thanks to renovations donated by Hearts & Hammers that have made her home fully wheelchair accessible.

In August 2015, 12-year-old Alex’s Wist’s life changed forever when she broke her neck while trying to do a flip on a trampoline.

Alex spent five months recovering in the Alberta Children’s Hospital with her mother, Amy Wist, by her side. Since then, she continues to make progress, but is ultimately confined to a wheel chair.

The accident made it impossible for Alex to return to her former home as it was totally inaccessible for her wheelchair.

“We didn’t have anywhere to live and I couldn’t get into my old house,” said the now 13-year-old.

Amy was able to find Alex and herself a new home, but it required several renovations and modifications to make it fully accessible.

Some of Alex’s friends and her school principal nominated the pair for a Hearts & Hammers renovation—and they were selected.

“When I found out they were going to renovate this house so that I could live here it actually meant a lot that they were going to do that for us,” said Alex. “It’s changed my life because now I can actually get into my new house and I can move around and I can do everything I need.”

Amy, a single mother, said the renovations have made things easier on both of them.

“They’ve changed everything,” she said. “Now Alex can do so much more on her own…I don’t have to carry her everywhere and it’s less manual stuff and more independence for her.”

John Casuga, spokesman for Hearts & Hammers said seeing Alex be able to make full use of her house is very rewarding.

“When you see somebody that is able to fully use their home and be at home, it’s the reason we do what we do,” he said.

Over the last number of months Hearts & Hammers installed a porch lift, replaced all the flooring and made Alex’s bathroom fully accessible.

The organization is a local non-profit that provides home renovations to families in need with mobility challenges to make their lives easier. 

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