For woman without use of hands, community builds a home

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ST. GEORGE — A young woman is now living in her dream home thanks to her grandfather and the generous outpouring of homebuilders in southern Utah.

Lindsey Smith, 21, was born with arthrogryposis amyoplasia multiplex congenital, meaning she has limited use of her legs, and no use of her arms and hands. She hasn't let that keep her from creating a full life and develop her skills as an artist. She has learned to maneuver with uncanny precision, studies art at Dixie State College and lives independently.

But in her old house — dubbed the roach shack — that wasn't easy.

Lindsey's grandfather always dreamed of building her a new home but didn't have enough money and knew he was running out of time.

"As my health has been declining, I decided I had to do something for my Lindsey, that she would have something permanent," said her grandfather, Glen Martin.

He reached out to the Home Builders Association, hoping that once they met Lindsey they wouldn't be able to say no.

They didn't just build a house. They built a home (with) built in caring, loving people. This home came self-equipped with all of this.

–Glen Martin, grandfather

"She is the most inspirational person I have ever met in my life," said Southern Utah Home Builders Care Foundation President Kelly Stephens. "She doesn't have problems; what's your problem you know?"

His hope was spot-on.

"Once we met Lindsey and seen where she was living, it was hands-on-deck and quickly evolved into a lot bigger project than, I think, Glen and Lindsey envisioned," said Project General Contractor Austin Anderson. "All the added extras we put into the home to give the very best we could for her."

Those extras include automated drawers that only require a push to open electrically. The kitchen sink faucet is motion-activated. The appliances are top of the line. All the counters are lowered. The entertainment center with surround sound is mounted so there is no clutter. And the master suite is big and open.

For all of the little luxuries, there is one feature that stands out to Lindsey: "I can finally use my walker and I can be more independent and be able to move around and not get stuck in random places," she said.

Martin though, noticed a different feature.

"They didn't just build a house. They built a home (with) built in caring, loving people. This home came self-equipped with all of this," Martin said.

It's still hard for Lindsey to believe her dream home is a reality.

"They are very amazing, kind people," she said.

But they might say it was all for an amazing and grateful young woman.

Contributing: Ed Yeates


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