La Grange Marine injured in Afghanistan gets renovated home

July 11, 2012 (LA GRANGE, Ill.)

Josh Misiewicz, a 23-year-old Marine, was injured nearly a year ago in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

Volunteers from Sears' Heroes at Home program and Rebuilding Together teamed up to renovate the Misiewicz family home to make it easier for Josh to get around.

"They redid all the floors so it's one level 'cause our floors weren't level," he said as he conducted a tour of the renovated home for ABC7. "It's not only helped out me but the family, and it's just unbelievable work and it's unbelievable what they've done and so quickly. It just looks amazing."

It was evident upgrades to the house were needed when Josh came home last December after having been in rehab at Walter Reed Medical Center. The double amputee was using both prosthetic legs and a wheelchair.

"It was difficult for him, banging into doors," said Nancy Misiewicz, mother. "We knew the doorways were too small. Access to the house was really hard. Getting in the shower, we had to rent all this equipment."

Now, there's a new deck outside made accessible with a wheelchair lift. Inside, there are new appliances as well as more space in the kitchen and easier access to storage. In the bathroom, the toilet and sink have been lowered.

"They just widened the doors. I was banging in to everything," said Josh Misiewicz.

The renovations coast anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000 and the Misiewicz family didn't pay for anything. The project was funded by the Sears Corporation and customers who donated to Heroes at Home.

"They are helping out the warriors who are keeping us safe," said Nancy Misiewicz.

Josh's upgrades were finished just in time for his visit home from Walter Reed. He heads back there on Thursday to continue his physical therapy.

So far several hundred injured veterans have benefitted from similar renovations.

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