In October of 2012, 15-year-old Dustin Bartow was involved in a serious car accident that not only took the life of his girlfriend Samantha, but left Dustin paralyzed. Because the family’s second-floor bathroom isn’t wheelchair-accessible, Dustin receives sponge baths from his mother, Christy, and hasn’t been able to have a real bath or shower in nearly two years.
At P.J. Fitzpatrick, we decided the holidays were a good time to change that – with no cost to the family.
In order to make a bathroom fit for Dustin, our bath solutions experts transformed the shower into a walk-in shower that can easily accommodate a wheelchair. We also updated the shower head so that it can be used at various heights and installed grab bars to add stability. For a little touch of comfort, our team also gave the Bartows new towels, a carpet, and a few other accessories.
“I started crying, because I’d been trying to do this for so long,” says Christy in an article by the Cecil Whig.
In addition to the shower, our director of business development, Almena Faux, wanted to make the day extra-special for the Bartow family, so she reached out to local businesses like the Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina and Serenity Spa & Tanning. The businesses surprised Christy with a donated pedicure, massage, and lunch after the renovation.
While the shower helps improve Dustin’s situation, the Bartows still need to make a few changes to their home, including making the staircase and Dustin’s room wheelchair-accessible. To help do this, Christy and her family members set up a fundraiser page at www.youcaring.com called “Stay Strong Dustin Bartow.”
The P.J. Fitzpatrick members who happily volunteered (without pay) to make a new bath for Dustin possible include:
- Al Smith and Ray Liczbinski (Expert Bath Installation Crew)
- Tyler Faux-Dugan (Photographer for the day, though normally part of our Expert Bath Installation Crew)
- Kelsey Faux-Dugan (Showroom and Event Staff, put finishing touches on bathroom)