SAN ANTONIO — A Purple Heart recipient is feeling a little bit more at home, thanks to a gift he never dreamed he would receive. It was a celebration fit for a hero.
Hundreds came out to celebrate Army Specialist Travis Worrell as he and his wife, Aiyanna Scott, drove up to a home they could now call their own.
All of this was made possible by The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, whose mission is to help severely injured veterans take back their independence.
At just 22 years old, while serving in Afghanistan, Specialist Worrell was left paralyzed from the chest down during an explosion. The traumatic injury also left him with limited feeling and motion in his hands and arms.
“I was injured in May of 2012. We were in a firefight and a rocket-propelled grenade came by and landed about four to five feet behind me, something like that, and pretty much got me in the back with shrapnel,” Specialist Worrell said.
The organization said they have delivered, started construction, or are in the design phase of 75 homes for veterans around the nation; all in memory of firefighter Steven Siller, who lost his life on Sept. 11.
The two never knew each other but are now connected in a very special way, through this home that will allow Worrell to start doing many of the things that most people take for granted.
“I’m super excited to be able to cook; I can’t wait to just cook up some spaghetti or some tacos or something, ” Worrell said.
The customized home features wide doorways to accommodate his wheelchair, pull-down shelves, even a special shower. Another feature in the home is the security system, thermostat and lights, which can be adjusted right from his phone.
“I honestly can’t wait to just sit on my front porch and enjoy the breeze going through the trees," he said. "Just like the shade and the sun. Oh my God. It’s going to be cool."