On Jan. 2, Eden Welply returned home. The 25-year-old musician from Austin had been in a rehabilitation hospital in Houston since October while she worked on strengthening her body and improving the number of things she can do.


Welply was hit by a car while crossing the street to go to class at Texas State University last February. She is now in a wheelchair and lost the use of her legs and most of the use of her arms.


Her stay in Houston brought a lot of improvements. Welply can now catheterize herself if someone helps her get in the right position. There are other things, too, she says. "It’s always so small. Other people notice it more than I notice it."


She has many goals to continue to improve her strength. "It took me an hour and a half to get in the car yesterday, and I didn't do it alone," she said Tuesday. "It's a constant effort to do anything at all. Everything is a goal."


Welply is part of the Statesman’s 21st Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of 12 families and helps hundreds of others through local nonprofit organizations. Welply was nominated by Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.


Since Season for Caring launched Dec. 1, the community has provided $649,425 in monetary donations and $187,960 in in-kind donations, a total of $837,385.


The Season for Caring agencies received their second grant Tuesday. They have now received $30,000 per featured family to help with their needs as well as other clients’. Donations will be accepted through the end of this month.


For Welply, the in-kind donations have included a new laptop computer from an anonymous donor. She will be able to compose music on it and operate it using voice commands. She’s also received pro bono legal work from FVF Law, a new adjustable bed from Factory Mattress and a subscription to Audible. This month she’ll receive a smart home setup to allow her to control the lights by voice.


There are still many things on her wish list. Her most crucial need is money for home health care. She does have some care, but the amount Medicaid covers and what it costs are not the same.


"There’s always going to be a deficit in care," she said.



She also would love to have her car adapted to her and take lessons to relearn how to drive. She would like AxioBionics wearable therapy for pain management. And she’d like to add Dragon Dictate software for her computer and an Ableton Sensory Percussion Kit. Lasik would help her no longer have to put in contacts, and acupuncture sessions would help with pain. Many of her needs will require more monetary donations.


To find out more about Welply or to donate an item on her wish list, contact Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, 512-541-4226, myhaam.org.