Extreme Home Makeover has Greencastle help

PAT FRIDGEN
Greencastle resident Brian Davidson dons a hard hat while working on an Extreme Home Makeover project in Pennsyvania.

A Greencastle man had a vested interest in Friday's airing of ABC TV's Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.

Brian Davidson, manufacturing director of HydroWorx in Middletown, was personally involved with installing a warm water therapy pool for the recipient of a new house. Brian Keefer, Etters, is a quadriplegic due to a gymnastics accident in 2008. Now 24, he lives at home with his parents. With the new pool, he can participate in daily sessions to increase balance, strengthen muscles and get a cardiovascular workout.

Davidson was excited that his company could take part in adapting Keefer's home with the latest technology to foster better health and independence. The pools, with a treadmill on the bottom and resistance jets, are typically installed in physical therapy clinics, hospitals, eldercare and professional sports facilities and universities. They have made life better for many people.

"I've seen patients run or walk for the first time," said Davidson, 40. "I was glad to have the opportunity to help. I hope one day Brian walks again."

The HydroWorx crew had two weeks' notice to manufacture the pool and make plans to coordinate installation around the other contractors. Most of the Keefers' old house was demolished on Sunday, June 19. Davidson and about a dozen employees arrived on Tuesday to set the floor and plumbing. The outdoor temperature hovered around 100 degrees, and the curing concrete only added to the heat. They spent three days on the project.

Keefer had been treated at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. He made progress during his few weeks of treatment each year, but would lose ground when back home. The KK staff had recommended HydroWorx contribute to the dream home, and also was present for the filming. They trained Keefer's dad to help him with training. The pool has room for a person to stand next to the patient.

For Davidson, the experience was "fantastic. I would absolutely do it again."

Several other men with Greencastle ties participated in the makeover. Greencastle-Antrim High School graduates Mark Buchanan of Buchanan Painting in Upper Strasburg, Joel Buchanan, and Kevin Statler of Statler Painting, were on the scene as volunteers, too. They were part of a painting team, joining the round-the-clock construction that involved approximately 5,000 people for a one-week period.

Employees of HydroWorx saw a home constructed in seven days, and installed a therapeutic pool for a young paralyzed man.