Community renovating injured Kuna football player's home

Credit: Doug Plank

Community renovating injured Kuna football player's home

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 11:16 AM

KUNA -- A home makeover is underway in Kuna in anticipation for injured high school football player Boone Bartlome's return home this week.

This story has captured the attention and heart of our whole region since Bartlome was badly injured in a football game last season. Both his team and Bishop Kelly knelt in prayer on the field as he was taken by ambulance. He's been in a Denver hospital for months and is currently in a wheelchair, with very limited movement.

Boone's coach, Lee Leslie, says the player is finally coming home to Kuna on Thursday. Soon after that, he'll get to see his home transformed that's now being transformed by the community.

Less than a week ago, the Kuna football team ripped out the carpet at Boone Bartlome family's house.

"The main thing was to make the home accessible for Boone so he could travel through with his wheelchair," said Robin Ward, a family friend of the Bartlome family.

The project has been quick to emerge, with dozens of volunteers and local companies working to make Bartlome's house wheelchair accessible, and also fun.

"He's got a lot of friends, so they're going to need a man cave, and a movie room, and just some areas where they can hang out. Boone didn't ask for it, but I know he's going to appreciate it. It's going to be a neat thing for him," Leslie said.

Bartlome will also get a new bathroom with special features, and eventually he will have a swimming pool he can use for therapy.

"Whatever the prognosis is going to be, we don't know. But I know Boone's going to work until he can't work anymore to get the best he can get out of this situation. So if we can drop a pool in there to help him, that's a great thing," Leslie said.

Ward says Boone and his parents Diana and Shane deserve every piece of this home renovation.

"Boone and his parents, they'll all pay it forward 10 times over. They always have. They've always, always been the ones that've stepped up for other people as well," Ward said. "It's hard for them to accept it because they're usually the ones helping other people."

Leslie invites everyone from anywhere to come to Bartlome's homecoming on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Kuna High School.

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