Elizabethton mom looks to community donations for handicapped bathroom

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - A mother in Elizabethton is looking for help from the community. Her 11-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy, and their house makes caring for her difficult.

When Mary Timmons bought her house, nothing about it was handicapped-friendly. "I've been gradually trying to work on it myself, and that comes usually out of my own money," she says.

That makes it tough to take care of her daughter Selena, who has cerebral palsy and an uncontrolled seizure disorder. She has a comfortable medical bed, and she wears diapers, so she doesn't need a handicapped toilet.

The problem is the size of the bathroom itself. "The bathtub, it's a mobile home bathtub, so it's really small. We have to hold her upright and walk sideways through the hallway and into the bathroom, so she can hit her head on the door, and if we turn her around, she can hit her head on the doorknob.

Her shower chair only bends back so far, so she hits her feet on the walls of the shower. She hits her elbows, and she has to curl up.

While most of Selena's medical bills are covered, construction costs are not. A new, larger bathroom would cost Timmons $5,000. "I don't like asking for help, and I had no other choice but to do the GoFundMe account. It was just for her, so I had to swallow my pride," she says.

Timmons started to fundraise in July, hoping to collect enough for a large tub for Selena's water therapy to make life a little more comfortable for her daughter. "When you have cerebral palsy, you start to stiffen up after years go by, and we're trying to keep her from being stiff."

If Timmons has learned anything, it's not to take life for granted. "We sit there and complain about our things, but when we look at her, and we're just like why are we complaining about that," she says.

Because a comfortable bathtub to stretch out is just what Selena needs. "I think she's perfect, she just depends on everybody for everything."

So far, Timmons has raised $230 from donations. If you're interested, you can donate to the GoFundMe account here.

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