A Heartwarming Homecoming
December 2009 – – In Lousiville, Ky., The Fuller Center is providing a Christmas gift to one family that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree, but is greater than anything a box could ever hold. They are bringing home a son and a brother permanently for the first time since 2006.
Four-year-old Caleb Beeler was born in 2005 with Down Syndrome and physical problems that require breathing and feeding tubes. He is confined to a wheelchair and frequently sick. Caleb’s parents faced the heart-wrenching reality that their home was not adequate for their son because it did not meet codes for children with special needs and was not wheelchair accessible. Renovations were projected to cost more than $30,000. On top of Caleb’s medical expenses, the work was out of reach.
Less than one year after his birth and after endless months in the hospital, Caleb moved into the Home of the Innocents in Louisville, Ky. Its Kosair Charities Pediatric Convalescent Center is a long-term residential facility for children and adolescents with physical and/or developmental disabilities. He has been there now for more than three years.
Hope was restored to the family in late summer 2009 when they were referred to The Fuller Center of Louisville who took on their home as a Greater Blessing project. Funded by $6,600 from the Kosair Charities, a program run by the Shriners in Kentucky, The Fuller Center set out to expand the Beeler’s bathroom, build wheelchair ramps, repair windows, install smoke detectors and renovate the back porch so that it can be a safe sunroom for Caleb to enjoy.
Many of Caleb’s family members, including his father Jim, work in the construction business and are volunteering on the Beeler house to keep costs down.
Only a few months after the Beelers came to The Fuller Center, the house is almost ready for Caleb to come home. Even though his family is able to see him daily and take him to all of his doctor appointments, Caleb has never lived with his parents, twin brother Cole and sisters Alexia and Daisy Mae for more than two weeks at a time.
Caleb functions at the level of a one-year-old, which is far better than the vegetable his doctors predicted he would be. His mother, Brandy, proudly explained that her son can smile, laugh and play with toys using his feet.
“I can’t wait for him to come home,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for three years.”