BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – A home for the holidays. That’s exactly what one Burke County family hoped for when construction began to build a home for Christopher. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office launched the project after learning that 33-year-old Christopher Grubisa lost both of his arms and legs after a rare case of bacterial meningitis. The law enforcement officers and Grubisa family started a fundraising campaign in March 2018 in hopes of rallying the public for dollars to design and build a ADA accessible home. Now, the sheriff’s office is in need of $15,000 to complete the project.
We’ve told you about Christopher Grubisa’s journey to walk into his own ADA compliant home by Thanksgiving. And he’s oh so close.
“It’s somewhere for us to be forever,” Grubisa said while sitting on his semi-wrap around porch complete with a ramp.
He gave NewsChannel 6 a tour. Being able to navigate his own home is something Grubisa has not been able to do in two years.
“I can just use my chair I’m in now. I can get through each door easier. I’m able to clear them. I won’t scrape them,” he told us.
Grubisa, his wife Amber and their three children’s lives changed in October 2017 when a rare case of bacterial meningitis hit. Christopher lost all four limbs and Burke County Sheriff’s Office sprung into action, raising money so he could have a home suited for his new life.
He added, “It will make life easier taking a shower, being able to get in there. It signals independence.”
And for his wife Amber, the new home helps her regain much needed time as a wife and mother, not just a caregiver.
“A door leading out of our master bedroom for fire safety,” Amber Grubisa pointed out. “I often sit up at night thinking that if there were a fire how do I get Christopher out.”
All three children have rooms that Christopher Grubisa can access too.
“He’s going to gain some responsibility in doing dad duties,” Amber laughed. “He can get into closets and do laundry, hep with the bath time with our little guy.”
Added to the enlarged doors is a spacious living room, kitchen and laundry room. Grubisa told us in the past two years his wife has kept him motivated through the entire journey. And he’s kept his sense of humor too.
“She’s there with me 24/7 to help me with anything and she’s also there to help me to get things done,” he said. “You can’t be sad. You have to laugh about something.”
Amber added, “This journey has been really rough. I think acceptance has been the biggest issue, accepting that this is our life. We’re finally getting to the top of that hill. We’re starting to be ok with that. When you first met us, I feel like we were still scared and grieving. We’ve on the other side. We both lost ourselves for a while.”
Grubisa, a husband, father of three and son, plans to hold a Hamburger/Hotdog Luncheon and tour of the home on Poole Melton Road in Blyth on Thursday, October 24 at noon. That will be the public’s opportunity to meet or come and talk with the family and sheriff’s office and make a donation to finalize the home in time for the holidays. The “Building A Home for Christopher” Go Fund Me page is just shy of $25,000. Donations can be made here.
NewsChannel 6 showed you the progress on the home back in June.
To follow Grubisa’s journey, click here.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins