Grandparents of paralyzed 6-year-old need help

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) - Tina Sullenger and her husband are full-time care-takers now for their grandson, Andrew Pitts, 6, of Maryland Heights.

Andrew has been paralyzed from the waist down since June of 2013, after he was hit by a car. A visit to their home Friday gives you the impression Andrew is doing well. He appears to be riding a stationary bike. Then you realize his legs are hooked up to electrical stimulation, which is what makes them move.

Tina Sullenger said, "Electrical stimulation is important because what we're trying to do is promote Andrew gaining back function."

Andrew is adjusting to life without the use of his legs.

Tina said, "Andrew has some areas underneath his T-10, T-11 spinal cord injury, where he has feeling from one side of his hip to the other."

But now the caretakers need help. Tina gave up her job as a kitchen manager to care for Andrew full-time. She gave us a tour of the parts of their home that are not easily Andrew-accessible.
She started in the bathroom attached to Andrew’s bedroom.

"It's not wheelchair accessible," said Sullenger. "But even if we could get his wheelchair through the door, he still is not able to transfer to the toilet on his own."

Then she led us to the main bathroom in the hallway, where the shower is located.

"I basically put him in and out of the bathtub because we don't have any kind of shower we can roll his wheelchair into," she said.

They also are in need of modifications in the kitchen.

"What I'd like to do is make my kitchen more accessible to Andrew so he can be more independent," she said. Sullenger showed us tears in the linoleum.

"The thing is, just that on his legs is not good. He has gotten a few cuts. We've got some work that needs to be done."

Sullenger said they could use financial donations, or a carpenter with a good heart.

"Maybe donations to Andrew's GoFundMe page," she said. "Or a carpenter that's able to come in, or any company or organization that is willing to help us out to help do the modifications to the bathroom and possibly the kitchen as well... to make things more accessible for Andrew."

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