News & Politics

Maryland Parents Crowdfund Search for a Wheelchair-Accessible Home for Their Son

Jack Hammers is currently in physical therapy after suffering a spinal stroke during his most recent surgery. Photograph courtesy of Dave Hammers.

Elizabeth and Dave Hammers’ Montgomery County apartment isn’t wheelchair-accessible. The corners are too tight and the doorways are narrow, which will make it difficult for their 14-year-old son, Jack, to move around freely in the wheelchair he is now confined to.

Jack was born with campomelic dysplasia, a rare and fatal form of dwarfism, that has led to countless orthopedic surgeries, as well as multiple ear tube surgeries. Jack suffered a spinal stroke during his most recent surgery, which was meant to correct the tibia bone protruding out of his ankle so he could continue walking. The stroke, which cause is unknown, has left Jack paralyzed from the chest down and in spinal shock.

As Jack goes through physical therapy, his family is trying to figure out how to raise enough funds to move to a wheelchair-acccessible home in Montgomery County.

RELATED: Washingtonian’s 2009 story about Jack, “Little Boy, Big Dreams”

Dave Hammers created “For Jack’s Sake” on August 6, in hopes that he and his wife can crowdfund $100,000 before Jack returns home from National Rehabilitation Hospital. The Hammers originally planned on building a wheelchair-accessible ramp to their apartment building, but after much thought, Dave and Elizabeth agreed that if they aren’t able to raise enough funds, Elizabeth and Jack will live with Elizabeth’s parents until they can find enough to make a down payment on a home. As of Monday morning, the family had raised more than $30,000.

“We’ve had a lot of support so far, and I just want to say thank you,” said Dave Hammers. “It’s difficult to ask for help, but we have to be realistic about our situation. We really appreciate the support.”

Jack’s tentative release date from the rehabilitation hospital is September 11, and Dave says Jack is working really hard with physical therapy and he is optimistic things will get better. Stay updated about the Jack’s progress and learn more about the Hammers family on their gofundme page.

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