When Corey Kent lost both his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, he thought he'd never be an active dad. This smart home changes everything.
Posted in , Jun 22, 2017
Thanks to a smart home with accessible appliances and lowered countertops, Army veteran and double-amputee Corey Kent is living his dream of being an active father to his newborn daughter Avery.
Kent was just 21 years old, ten months into his military service and three weeks into his tour in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED while on patrol with his unit and lost both of his legs and the fingers on his left hand in the blast. After receiving over 70 surgeries in order to repair his damaged limbs at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Kent was starting to lose hope that he could ever have the family he'd always wanted and be an active provider for them.
“I didn’t know how active and mobile I was going to be and I didn’t want to be dependent and a burden on my family," Kent told the TODAY Show of his concerns during his long, slow recovery.
While recovering, Kent was put in contact with the people at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation, a nonprofit created to honor fallen firefighters of 9/11 and military service men and women. Tunnel To Tower was building a smart home to help another injured soldier and Kent hoped they could do the same for him.
A few years later, Kent, who had been living in a studio apartment added to the side of his parents’ house in Cape Coral, Florida, was in need of more space. He had just gotten engaged to his fiancée Brandy and the couple was living in cramped quarters.
Then, they got the call.
The Stephen Siller Foundation, in partnership with the Home Depot Foundation, had decided to build the Kents a smart house. They moved into the home after September 11, 2016, just in time for Avery's birth.
The wide hallways of their home make it easy for Kent to get around in his wheelchair, and the lowered appliances and countertops allow him to do laundry, bathe his daughter, do the dishes and more.
"Being a dad is something I've looked forward to for a long time. I'm excited to have something to focus my energy on," he said. "I hope I can teach her to be a better person than I am, and to leave the world a better place. In the military you're part of a team and it's about more than you, and it's exciting to feel that again."