August 18, 2011 in Washington Voices

TV crew’s remodeling aids man’s mobility

KXLY teams up with businesses to help
By The Spokesman-Review
Pia Hallenberg photo

The Reilly family home, just off South Perry Street, is being remodeled by KXLY-TV’s Extreme Team to accommodate Shane Reilly, a quadriplegic.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

The Extreme Team is at it again, this time in the South Perry District. Organized by KXLY-TV, the Extreme Team does remodeling work for people who can’t physically or financially do the work themselves, with the help of local businesses.

This time the beneficiary is Shane Reilly, 26, who is a quadriplegic as a result of a gunshot in the head at close range in March. Reilly was shot by Robert D. Startin who’s now serving more than 15 years in jail for the crime. Startin shot Reilly in the aftermath of a drinking party where someone had jokingly called Reilly a sex offender.

When paramedics arrived at the scene, Reilly was no longer breathing. Doctors said he probably would not survive, and if he did survive he’d probably never move again. Within the first 24 hours his family was very close to turning off life-support machines – but then Reilly opened his eyes.

And since then he’s been making slow but steady progress at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute.

Reilly’s parents, Linda and Richard Reilly, live in a modest home off South Perry, and KXLY-TV’s Mark Peterson said the Extreme Team started to get a lot of emails about the Reillys’ situation as the family tried to get the house ready for the care of their suddenly quadriplegic son.

“His dad worked on the house as much as he could, when he wasn’t at work,” said Peterson. “The family began to worry about Dad’s health. People were helping out here and there, so we picked up the project where it was at.”

The reveal of the completed project was scheduled to take place during KXLY-TV’s 6 p.m. news show today. Contractors and building suppliers, including Royalty Hardwood, VPI Home Solutions, Window Replacement Systems and Evergreen Heating and Cooling, are donating materials and manpower to this Extreme Team project.

“We have taken a wall down to make the entryway handicap accessible,” said Peterson. “And we’ve opened up the kitchen so he can get in and out in a wheelchair.”

Peterson said the Extreme Team is remodeling the home so Reilly’s parents can take care of him there.

“They’ve said that if he becomes self-sufficient, then they will move out and he can stay here,” Peterson said.

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