Micah, from left, Randy, Maia and Jaclyn Gallant check up on the renovations being carried out in their Fortune Cove home. Major structural changes are being made to make the home more accessible for Micah who has spinal muscular atrophy and needs power equipment for mobility.
Renovations will allow four-year-old who has spinal muscular atrophy to have freedom in his own home
FORTUNE COVE — Renovations are so extensive at the Gallant family home in Fortune Cove that first-time visitors might confuse the 27-year-old house for one just under construction.
Randy and Jaclyn Gallant have lived there for eight years. They are carrying out the renovations so that their four-year-old son, Micah, who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), will be able to freely move throughout the house in his standing Dani or in his power wheelchair.
The renovations include installation of an elevator so that Micah will be able to go from the main level of the house to the family room in the basement on his own.
“We talked about this for a year-and-a-half,” Jaclyn said of weighing in on whether they should sell and build new or renovate their home to make it more accessible.
“We came to the conclusion this is where we want to be,” she said, pointing out they love their spot along the Mill River and they very much enjoy their neighbours.
To make the home more accessible, a sunken living room had to be filled in, the main hallway had to be widened by a foot, and Mom and Dad are trading bedrooms with Micah so that he can have access to a wheelchair accessible bathroom off of his room. Walls had to be moved, and many interior walls have been stripped to the bare studs as part of the renovation project.
The Gallant family also consists of Micah’s two year-old sister Maia. They have all moved in with Jaclyn’s parents and are looking forward to moving back into their renovated home by late March.
Close friends and relatives have banded together to organize a benefit night to help the Gallants with the renovations. The benefit night will be held at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall in Bloomfield on Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30. Donations are also being accepted into a Benefit for Micah Gallant account at Island credit unions.
The Gallants have been working hard at helping to maintain Micah’s strength and were encouraged by staff at the Stan Cassidy Centre during a recent visit to the Fredericton facility, yet they acknowledge their son will require power equipment to assist with his mobility. The home renovations will allow him to use the power equipment more freely.
The Gallants are eager to get the renovations completed so that Micah can get in some indoor practice with his power chair before starting kindergarten in the fall.