Neighbors, Friends Donate To Remodel Home For Woman Paralyzed By Falling Pedestrian Shelter - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on December 23, 2015

Source: CBSChicago

Neighbors, Friends Donate To Remodel Home For Woman Paralyzed By Falling Pedestrian Shelter

By Jim Williams

(CBS) — She was a dancer, now paralyzed after a trip through O’Hare Airport. A CBS 2 investigation revealed the dangerous conditions that led to her accident.

Now she’s speaking out for the first time. She described the ordeal to CBS 2’s Jim Williams.

At the Rehabilitation Institute, 24-year-old Tierney Darden is putting in the hard work.

“The biggest hurdle for me was my mindset,” Darden said. “Getting my mind back to positive.”

A twenty minute drive away, construction crews are working hard at her new home.

Back in August, CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposed poorly maintained pedestrian shelters at O’Hare Airport after one collapsed, leaving the aspiring dancer paralyzed from the waist down.

“For me it’s sad cause of how the outcome was for me but in a way it’s also positive because this won’t happen anyone else,” she said.

So moved are her friends and neighbors in Vernon Hills they’re donating services to reconstruct this home to make it easier for Tierney to get around in her wheelchair.

The effort is led real estate developer Steve Spinell and designer Anita Galatte.

“All she ever wanted to is dance and so now so now she can’t, so how do we make this bright light still shine?” Gallate said.

“The trade partners that we have doing the general contracting that we do have all stepped up to the plate to donate materials in their time to help make this a reality,” Spinell said.

Tierney Darden is overcoming physical and emotional hurdles with a big assist from people who love her.

“They help me keep going,” she said. “They help me stay strong and they help me want to never give up.”

Though re-construction costs are being donated, Tierney’s family did buy the home and they’ve set gofundme account.

The Darden Family has filed suit against the city for negligence.

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