Gary Sinise Foundation to pay for ramp, construction for paramedic paralyzed on job
The foundation, which serves first responders and veterans, seeks to make Danny Goodwin Jr.'s home more wheelchair accessible after he became a quadriplegic
The Houma Courier, La.
Danny Goodwin Jr. of Galliano was a paramedic before he was paralyzed due to injuries sustained on the job.
Now a quadriplegic, he requires full-time care, which his sister, Kerry Nihart, provides.
But more help is on the way from the Gary Sinise Foundation, founded by the actor perhaps best known for his role as "Lt. Dan" in the Oscar-winning 1994 film "Forrest Gump," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
The foundation will pay for a widening of Goodwin's driveway, an improved ramp to his front door and possibly a deck for his double-wide trailer in Galliano.
"It's pretty critical," Goodwin said. "The driveway that was put in when we purchased the double-wide is tricky to back into. So far, only one member of the family can back the van up."
Nihart said the foundation requires three estimates be submitted, from which it will choose and fund the construction.
"We had applied around the first of this year," Nihart said. "It is (wheelchair accessible), but not very."
Now, she just needs interested parties to contact her with their bids, which she will forward to the foundation.
Sinise played a disabled Vietnam veteran in that film, and has been a staunch advocate for veterans and first responders since the 1980s.
Sinise began the foundation in 2011 with the mission "to serve and honor our nation's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities."
"Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted," says Sinise on the website. "We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show our gratitude to our nation's defenders, we can always do a little more."
Contractors interested in bidding on the project may call Nihart at 278-8196.
©2019 The Houma Courier, La.