In front of a full studio audience during a special Veterans Day episode of ABC’s The View, Chairman and CEO of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller revealed to Army Sgt Carlos Figueroa, his wife Jessica and daughter Lilly, that the Foundation would be building them a brand new, mortgage-free smart home.
Army Sgt Carlos Figueroa was a combat engineer and survived two IED blasts during his deployment to Iraq – the first blast fractured his jaw and ribs. Instead of going home, he demanded to stay with his unit. Two months later, a second blast left him with a traumatic brain injury and catastrophic damage to his leg.
After dealing with pain and suffering for years, he made the decision to amputate.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation builds smart homes for our nation’s most catastrophically injured veterans. The homes are built to help these heroes reclaim their independence.
Inside each smart home is technology allowing for the home’s essential functions, lighting, temperature and security to be controlled remotely via smart device. The home is built with doors and hallways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and a front door that can be opened and closed remotely. For added accessibility, the kitchen features cabinet shelving that can be pulled down to provide easy access and the stove is installed on a lift that raises and lowers to wheelchair height.
Sgt Figueroa is not the only one who will benefit from the features in their new Tunnel to Towers smart home. Lilly was born with a rare joint disorder – when she was six, she decided to amputate her legs so she could move around more freely. Now, Lilly is 11, and she is walking, running and skiing on a pair of prosthetic limbs.
Last fall, tragedy struck. The family’s rental home in California burned to the ground as wildfires tore through the region. Everyone was safe, but Lilly’s prosthetic legs, wheelchair and all the families’ belongings were destroyed.
After the fire, the family moved to Texas, after Scottish Rite, a non-profit hospital in Dallas, accepted their application for orthopedic care for Lilly.
Currently, the family lives in a fourth-floor apartment and Lilly’s mother often struggles to carry her up and down the stairs.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation will be building the Figueroa family a brand new, mortgage-free smart home in their location of choice. To date, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has delivered, started construction, or is in the design stage of 75 smart homes all over the country.
Please consider a monthly pledge of $11 to help us continue to build smart homes for deserving heroes just like Sgt Figueroa.