"[My] cervical spine from C1 to C6 fractured all the way through," Corporal Nick Orchowski said. "I've got two titanium plates holding it all together. I shattered my elbow in 36 pieces."
Orchowski was injured in 2004, after being thrown from his vehicle when his envoy was attacked in Baghdad.
"At the beginning of the injury they told me that I would have zero function from the chest down, and that was something we would have to adapt to," he said. "Through surgeries and things like that I was able to get some function back."
Many common tasks most people take for granted are difficult for Orchowski.
"The biggest issue has always been stairs," he said. "That's always been a big thing for me - not so much falling down them, but falling up them. That's always been a big thing."
Now he doesn't have to worry about that. Saturday, Nick moved into a new home in Parker with his wife Jamie and their two young children. It was specially designed by Homes For Our Troops, with his particular injuries in mind. It has no stairs, but does have a roll-in shower with bar supports and doors that open with the push of a button.
"Homes For Our Troops took that into consideration, so there's no way I can hurt myself in this home," Orchowski said.
The nonprofit organization provides homes free of charge to veterans who have been wounded in combat. It's goal is make sure disabled soldiers are comfortable and can focus on things other than their disability.
"This is a good day for us. We're extremely blessed," Nick said.
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