Tucked in a corner of the Brookfield Estates subdivision in Pflugerville is the home where Michael and Nora Gomez raised their four children and hope they can continue to live, even after Michael’s second leg amputation.
The four-bedroom, two-story home has been the sight of many birthday parties, family meals and Christmas morning celebrations — the place the Gomez family has called home for the last 15 years.
Michael Gomez, 52, is a double below-knee amputee and dialysis patient. Diabetes caused poor circulation and diminished vision. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2012 after his niece donated one of her kidneys. However, after having his left leg amputated in 2016 and taking numerous medications, the kidney his niece gave him failed, leading him back to dialysis, which he endures three days a week.
Michael Gomez has a prosthesis for his left leg, which was helping him maneuver through his home, but in April he had an infection on his right toe, leading to his second below-knee amputation.
With all four bedrooms and the full bathrooms on the second floor of his home, Michael Gomez says the second amputation has made it difficult for him to make it upstairs to shower and sleep.
Before his second amputation last year, he was going upstairs to shower and sleep, Nora Gomez says. “Now that is a challenge because he has to sit and scoot himself up the stairs," she says.
Nora Gomez, 44, moved their bed to a downstairs game room area. The bed is located right next to the downstairs half-bathroom.
Micheal said his 70-year-old father Roy removed the sink that was in the bathroom and installed bars on the walls so he could get his wheelchair into the bathroom. Because that bathroom is only equipped with a toilet and Michael Gomez is unable to get upstairs, he now showers using a water hose in the garage during the winter and using the hose on the back porch in the summer.
Son Mikey, 17, has taken on the heavy lifting around the house, including helping his father maneuver to and from his wheelchair and helping his dad shower.
Nora Gomez works full time as an administrative assistant with Child Protective Services. Michael Gomez previously worked on the receiving dock at Dell Inc. for 15 years, but he had to stop because of his health. The family is on a limited income and in need of assistance to get housing modifications for accessibility. They hope that a few home modifications will establish some normalcy for them.
They would like to expand the downstairs bathroom to include a walk-in shower and replace the sink; enclose the back room to make it into a bedroom for the parents; and remove the carpet and install tile or wood to allow Michael Gomez to move easier through the home in his wheelchair. Upgrading the family’s appliances such as the dishwasher, washer and dryer and refrigerator also would be helpful, Nora Gomez says.
Michael Gomez says with a few changes around the house he hopes he can get back to doing what he loves most, and that is watching his kids do whatever they do.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching my kids and get a lot of pleasure in seeing my kids happy,” Michael Gomez says.
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