Community makes home accessible for Westford principal paralyzed in fall

Westford principal returns home after suffering spinal cord injury during fall

WESTFORD, Mass. — With the help of hundreds of Westford businesses and community members, a beloved principal finally returned home after being injured in a fall.

Kevin Lacoste suffered a serious spinal cord injury in July when he fell from a tree in his front yard, losing mobility from his shoulders down to his legs.

After the freak accident turned the Lacoste family's world upside down, their community stepped up to make sure their home would be wheelchair-accessible.

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"It's been very overwhelming for our family, we are so grateful for Nancy and we are so grateful for this community and all of these people who have spent hours and hours and hours helping to make this better for them," said Lori O'Donnel, Kevin's sister.

Neighbors, family and friends came together to raise thousands of dollars to completely renovate the Lacoste's Cherry lane home so it would be accessible for Kevin.

After finding out about Kevin's diagnosis following the fall, Nancy Cook says her grandson Jake asked her how they could step up and help his principal.

"We actually put it on Facebook and said we needed help and the rest is history," said Cook. "I've had hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out saying, 'What can I do? I tile, I paint, I wire, I'm an electrician,' - it's been crazy."

In just under a month, more than 250 people have donated their time to help out the Lacoste family, where at least 70 businesses have donated their services.

The home now looks brand new, with a new addition that Kevin can now get around much more easily with his wheelchair.

"Truly we've had the strength to pull this off, pulling off Kevin and his smile and encouragement we just wanted to make it beautiful for him, a peaceful place to come home to," said Cook.

Many of the volunteers don't even know Kevin, but are making sure to clean, decorate and put the finishing touches on the home before he returns on Saturday.

"There's just no words, thank you just didn't seem like it's enough, we are forever blessed and grateful to have these people in our lives," said O'Donnel.