MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — At just 17 years old, Lucas Grounds is a lot of things. He's a champion dirt bike rider, a loving son and brother, and now he's a homeowner.
Lucas was paralyzed from the waist down after a dirt bike accident last year, but his wheelchair hasn't slowed him down.
"We kind of joke, he's the most unparalyzed, paralyzed kid there is. He does everything he did before, he just does it a little different," said Lucas' father, Justin.
In fact, once he left Riley Hospital for Children after the accident it wasn't his injury that was slowing him down, it was his home.
"It's not that I couldn't get through. It was tighter spaces. It was more of a challenge," said Lucas.
All that's changed now. What started off as a plan to make his house handicap accessible ended with Sunco Construction and the Mooresville and Martinsville communities teaming up to build a brand-new home — free of charge.
"It was unbelievable honestly. At the time I was happy, but I couldn't express my emotions. I was in shock," said Lucas.
Lucas designed the house with several modifications that allow him more independence, like in his closet.
"I couldn't reach. I was breaking hangers. My new closet is probably chest height. I can just swing the doors open and put my clothes back," said Lucas.
Lucas gave his occupational therapist from Riley Hospital for Children, Whitney Kozlowski, a tour of his new home.
"It's great to see him thriving and doing all the things he wanted to do," said Kozlowski.
Bryant Hopwood, the field supervisor for the project, said it was a labor of love.
"It's very humbling to see that happen and watch the whole family and their excitement and see their new lease on life that they have because now they can provide for him. He has a future that is very bright," said Hopwood.
Now Lucas is ready to continue to show the world what he can do.
"You can't look back. You have to always look at what's ahead of you. That's what I've always done and will continue to do," said Lucas.