Paul Salter went to football practice in the
Pop Warner league on September 9, 1999, as
he had done many times before. When he was
tackled, that wasn't unusual either - but
the results were. Suddenly the 14-year-old
was a quadriplegic.
Such an event would have been devastating
for anyone. It was no less for Paul and his
family. Paul spent months in All Children's
Hospital in St. Petersburg. His parents,
Glenn and Gail, camped out in a nearby
When Paul returned to Sarasota, he went to
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital.
Paralyzed from the shoulders down, he
learned to control the things around him -
television, telephone, fan, VCR - by puffing
or sipping on a straw from an electronic
device provided by a generous donor.
Paul's case manager vowed that he would be
back in classes at Riverview High School
that September - and he was. Whether Paul
would ever return home was a different
question. He needed so much care that a
nursing home seemed the only answer, but
that wasn't acceptable to the Home Builders
Association of Sarasota County.
John King, a member of the HBA's Board of
Directors, first learned about Paul's
situation from a neighbor in early 2000. He
visited the Salter home to assess the
possibility of adapting doorways and a
shower for Paul's wheelchair, making room
for his backup generator and installing many
other retrofits. It couldn't be done.
The HBA readily agreed to replace the Salter
home - for free - if the Salter's could
consent. "It was the right thing to do,"
King says. Besides Glenn, a plumber, is one
of their own. Glenn gave it some thought.
"My grandfather built that house and I've
lived in it since I was a child," he says,
"but it was an old cracker house and we
couldn't adapt it."
The Salter's moved into a rented home and
King took time from his business as
President of Rampart Homes, Inc. He and his
wife Didi coordinated 185 donations of
labor, materials or cash as well as numerous
anonymous financial gifts. John also oversaw
the construction activities that resulted in
the new 2,200 square foot, uniquely designed
"This home is a lot more than what we
expected," Glenn says. "The people of
Sarasota, the contractors - they came here
and gave us wonderful, quality work. They
cut no corners."
Paul is doing well, too. "He's got all A's
and B's, but a C in Algebra. I just admire
him so much, for having the courage to go
back to school. I don't know what I'd do,
but he deals very well, and he hasn't lost
his sense of humor." Paul's brother Jason,
18, and sister Dixie, 21, live in the new
home and care for him while their parents
are at work.
"The new home is really outstanding, but I'd
give it all up to have things the way they
were. I just love my son to death," Glenn
says. "But the big story now is the way the
community came out to support us. I want
everybody to know just how grateful we are."
The Home Builders Association of
Sarasota County was presented with The 2001
Award of Recognition by the Suncoast Center
for Independent Living, Inc.
"In Recognition Of Their Support Of The
Principles Of Independent Living Evidenced
On The Paul Salter Home Project Chaired By
John King of Rampart Homes"
Teen improves after football injury
Sarasota teen-ager paralyzed in a Sept. 9
accident during Pop Warner football practice
is improving at HealthSouth Rehabilitation
Hospital in Sarasota. Paul Salter has been
confined to his bed for several...
'The right thing to do'
The housing industry is not ignorant when it
comes to public relations. It's common for
developers, home builders, Realtors,
mortgage lenders and the like to donate
hundreds or thousands of dollars to
Paralyzed student gets new home
Construction is under way on a
wheelchair-accessible, specially designed
home for Paul Salter, the Sarasota Middle
School student who was paralyzed after he
was tackled during a football practice last
Paralyzed teen works to build a new life
Paul Salter leans his head, the only part of
his body he can move, against the control
panels on his wheelchair to navigate around
corners and through a doorway at a Sarasota
The room to live
Real estate encompasses a lot of things --
land, structures, buying and selling, taxes
and insurance among them -- but it really
comes down to just two simple concepts:
Place and space. Place has to do with...
A need, a dream, and now a house
A house is not a home until there's someone
living in it, but John King's dream wasn't a
house until there was a roof over it. Now
that there is one, the Sarasota home builder
is hoping that his project...
The home stretch
The final pieces of the puzzle are falling
into place, which means Paul Salter and his
family finally should be moving into their
new home around the middle of August. Salter
is the Sarasota teen-ager who was...
A house for Paul
Paul Salter is excited about the house he
has been watching going up for almost a
year. Contractor John King and dozens of
members of the building trades have built
the house to meet the needs of Salter...
King gets his proper credit
John King didn't do what he did just to get
his name in the paper. He doesn't think it's
necessary I write this column. But you build
a house for a family in need for free, you
spend a year of your life sticking...
Salter's an inspiration
Five years ago, a youth football practice
turned tragic for Paul Salter, leaving him
paralyzed from the neck down. Now, the
teen who was the subject of a community-wide
outpouring of support and prayers will...