RICHMOND, Va. — A devastating well being emergency a decade in the past modified the best way one Richmond man noticed the world. Invoice Sweeney, the person who was near dying, has since made it his mission to make Richmond a shining instance for the world.
Sweeney, 68, doesn’t surrender as he works to alter America one home at a time.
“I’m loud. I’m pushed. I’m tenacious. I don’t let go,” Sweeney mentioned.
His mission started ten years in the past, in February 2012, when the previous government suffered a catastrophic stroke in his spine whereas at work.
“5 days later they unplug me from a ventilator saying he’ll dwell or die. He’ll have mind injury or not,” Sweeney mentioned.
The injury left the person who ran marathons and rock climbed close to dying and in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down.
“You’ve received to soak up this shock of getting your physique simply torn aside and put again collectively once more,” he mentioned.
The grandfather confronted duties like discovering housing appropriate for his chair and bodily challenges.
He didn’t have a lot luck.
“I attempted discovering housing for myself. Attempt to advocate for housing for myself. I received uninterested in individuals on the opposite finish of the road crying when there was no resolution,” he mentioned.
That moved Sweeney to begin Boundryless Residing. The corporate builds adaptive properties and promotes livable neighborhoods for all.
“Our initiative is to make Richmond essentially the most livable place on this planet,” Sweeney mentioned.
He claims to be the world’s solely paraplegic realtor.
“Ninety p.c of the inhabitants I’m making an attempt to characterize has no voice. They’re not even heard,” Sweeney mentioned.
His spinal cord injury has given him a brand new perspective on life.
“We expect there’s a higher way of life. I’ve received nothing to lose,” he mentioned.
Invoice and his crew at Boundryless Residing launched the non-profit Livability Initiative in August to seek out new options for individuals struggling to dwell in a world designed for able-bodied individuals.
“Once you’re beginning over with nothing I get to create the assemble I really feel is best than the one I used to be residing earlier than,” he mentioned.
Sweeney needs nationwide constructing codes that require each dwelling to incorporate a common entry toilet on each first ground and 0 threshold entrance in each home inbuilt America.
“If I can change one individual on how they see one thing then the entire world has been modified,” he mentioned.
The adjustments won’t occur in a single day, however Sweeney is motivated to shut the deal and make Richmond a shining instance of what might be.
“I don’t know any completely different,” Sweeney mentioned. “I’m simply going to attempt to be an instance of what residing your desires with love via ardour seems to be like.”
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