Nolan Rooms, the little Townsville boy known for his infectious smile, will once again be able to move around his home freely and experience greater independence after receiving the keys to his family’s highly accessible home for the second time.
The seven-year-old, who wants to be a builder like Martin Locke when he grows up, lives with Cerebral Palsy after he was born prematurely and contracted an infection which left his tiny body without oxygen leading to brain damage.
Mum and Dad, Nicole and Christian Rooms, achieved their dream accessible home for Nolan early last year after Martin Locke Homes and more than 60 of our trade and supply partners banded together to donate over $150,000 in money, goods and services towards the build.
But just shy of a year later the massive monsoon event struck Townsville inundating ‘Nolan’s Home’ with around 12cm of water throughout and forcing the young family, including Nolan and his two little brothers Sammy and Caiden out of their home and into temporary accommodation.
Five months and now three moves later, the family says the experience has highlighted even further the importance of their home’s accessible features.
“We’re so thrilled to be home and thankful that we’ve been able to engage Martin and his team again through our insurance process,” Nicole said.
“It has definitely been a challenging and long process, but we know there are so many others who are still months away from moving back into their homes, so we are very fortunate in that way.
“Moving home brings independence back into Nolan’s life, the step-free design with specially made bathrooms, kitchen, therapy room and wide spacious halls and doors are truly life-altering for him.
“The first key handover where Martin and all of the wonderful trades and suppliers who helped build our home came along was so significant for Nolan that unbeknownst to us, he has been practicing smiling and holding up the keys with his teacher at school in preparation.
“He even says he wants to be a builder when he grows up, just like Martin Locke.”
Nolan wasted no time demonstrating how hard he had been working in therapy while out of his home, showing Martin how he can stand up and walk with his Mum.
Builder Martin Locke, who advocates strongly for more accessible housing standards across the residential construction industry said Nolan’s attitude to life was infectious and inspiring.
“Every home has the power to impact a family’s lifestyle and that’s really why we do what we do,” Mr Locke said.
“For Nolan it completely changes how he is able to move around, enjoy time with his family and do those things that we all take for granted and it was so heartening to see his big trademark smile when we handed him the keys again.
“Hearing that he wants to be a builder is humbling actually, and with his positive attitude and the support of his family I have no doubt he can achieve whatever he sets his mind to.”
The Rooms home is one of more than 15 flood repairs Martin Locke Homes is currently carrying out and the second to be handed over.
“It’s definitely been a learning experience for everyone involved, we could only help a certain number of our former clients, each of those has had different experiences depending on their insurer, unfortunately some are still quite a while away from moving back in,” Mr Locke said.
The Rooms family hopes their next move will be many years in the future when the rest of the family moves out to allow Nolan to live in his home independently.
how far we hAVE COME TOGETHER
Watch the videos of the handover of Nolan's Home with our trade and supply partners and his story before his home was built.