Meet Shelbie, she is currently going through the new homeownership process with Habitat MCTX along with her son Jayden. Shelbie had the opportunity to share a speech talking about the impact having a home will have on her family at the 2023 Building Hope Gala. Learn about Shelbie’s experience in her own words below.
“Good evening, I am honored to have been asked to speak to you as a future homeowner of a Habitat for Humanity house. I am Shelbie, and this is my son Jayden who is 12 years old.
I grew up in Montgomery, and I lived in Montgomery, until 2019 when we had to move to my grandma’s house in Panorama Village.
I have a Traumatic Brain injury from a traffic accident in May 2016. Therefore I’ll need to look at my notes on the speech; thank you for understanding.
I knew about Habitat for Humanity because my dad did the drywall in their houses for 25 years, before the Cedar Creek Habitat community was even around. Thank you for your donations to make that possible – a safe community for kids and parents like us. My dad is the one who told me to apply for a house in Habitat’s Cedar Creek neighborhood, because he knew it would be safe for Jayden and me.
We are both extremely grateful for Habitat for Humanity for giving us the opportunity to get our own home. Our house is in the final stages, we should be moved in by the end of May. It will be the first time since my accident in 2016 that we haven’t had to live with family. Jayden and I can finally be independent and live alone! I’ll never forget a few years ago when I was talking to my older brother about how I’d worked on my credit and told him that I was looking at houses or an apartment. He was shocked and said, “After the accident we thought you’d always have to live with one of us.”
That’s what I don’t want- to be a burden on my family. And I have looked into all sorts of homes, mobile homes, condos etc and after looking into Habitat for Humanity, it is absolutely the best choice for us, and it is still in Montgomery County. So, thank you all for your donations and for helping Habitat to create this community, and future communities. They truly change families lives!
After the accident, I was treated at what was then called Conroe Regional. Dr. Fayaz was my neurosurgeon, and Dr Helmer was the surgeon that did my tracheostomy and my Bolus tube. I thank God and them for keeping me alive that night. Jayden was only 5 at the time of the accident. They told my family I had a 50% chance of making it the first night. I did make it.
Then I was in a coma for over 3 weeks. When I woke up, I didn’t remember anyone other than my parents and my siblings. I know I didn’t even remember Jayden.
My mom has told me that to try to get that memory back my twin sister brought photo albums and would sit with me for hours at a time. She showed me lots of pictures of Jayden and me. She told me friends would visit me and I wouldn’t remember who they were; she said how sad it was seeing their faces as they walked out of the room. My family was basically told not to expect much improvement, and that I was probably going to be in a hospital bed my whole life.
But thankfully due to excellent care by my doctors and nurses and by God’s grace, I did get better! When I was first released, I could not do anything myself. I couldn’t even hold myself up to sit straight in my wheelchair, and I was still fully in a hospital bed. Then I went to TIRR inpatient. It was one of the most challenging times trying to relearn and remember mentally how to do something. A lot of people with brain injuries lose their family’s support. Luckily my family has always been here to help me, every step of the way. I will never forget how they supported me and will be forever grateful. I will always be there for them, too.
Over time, my memory and balance and everything else has improved. It is still not 100%, but it is much better than it was. I can even walk with assistance, something that my family was told I would never do again! A few years ago I went to the hospital in Conroe for tests and saw Dr Fayaz, it was the first time he’d seen me using my walker-he was amazed and said it was a miracle.
Working with Habitat for Humanity has been a great experience. Every single person from Habitat has been kind, dedicated to what they do to help families change their lives. I still can’t drive myself yet,but I have been able to get rides from some of the other homeowners to the Restore and to classes. I have put in my sweat equity with a lot of help, and I thank you!
Jayden is only 12, but he knows I have limitations and he is very helpful to me now. He will continue to be helpful when we have our own house, be that mowing the yard, taking the trash to the curb etc. Jayden is also really excited to live in a community that has other kids his age. And I hope that by seeing my journey and the struggles and everything I have had to overcome, that he knows anything is possible. I have tried to lead by example for my son.
All the financial donations to Habitat tonight are so appreciated and needed, but you will also be donating hope, donating stability, and donating happiness to families. You are truly bringing positive changes to the futures of all of us who own homes thanks to Habitat for Humanity. For many families, home ownership would not be possible without you and your support. Thank you for making this possible for Jayden and me.”