Feb 29, 2016 was the day that would change the lives of the Natto family forever.
Chris, a 26 year old Recon Marine, and his unit were training, a night jump over an untested landing zone. Halfway through the fall, Chris and the other nine marines radioed to leadership that they would not make the drop zone. Turns out they were let out of the plane too late, leaving them 2 miles from the scheduled drop zone. Chris followed one of his buddy’s and having no other options, they attempted to land in pine trees. Chris remembers hitting the top of a tree and having his legs flare out. He landed on a branch that didn’t hold him and as his parachute collapsed he fell directly to the ground, falling 40 feet and landing on his back. Chris was unable to move or even call for help. He was paralyzed from the chest down.
Christopher and his wife Sydney are both from St Johns county, and both sets of parents still live there, but neither family has a home equipped for handicap accessibility, so Christopher is stuck in the VA hospital in Tampa. Their 22 month old son, Rhett, is currently living in St Augustine with Sydney’s parents, while Sydney splits her time between Rhett and Chris.
When Matt Devereaux from LENNAR heard about their story, he decided to build this family a home. Sydney’s father offered to pay for the lot, but instead was encouraged to set up an education fund for Rhett, as LENNAR is covering the cost of the lot. The architects have already finished modifying one of LENNAR’s floorplans to accommodate this family perfectly. Every inch of the home will be accessible by Chris. Rhett’s bathroom has been widened so that Chris can fully turn around and be present during bath time. The island in the kitchen has a sink lowered for Chris. The backyard will have an outdoor kitchen, complete with a handicap accessible grill. And the front bedroom will be modified, including a rubber floor, so that Chris can have an in-home gym to continue rehab. The groundbreaking was on October 24th, and the home is expected to be finished by Christmas.