U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Sualauvi Tuimaleali’ifano and his family received a new mortgage-free smart home in the Let Us Do Good Village, on April 29, from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
This is the first smart home the nonprofit has given away and the second home it has given away in the new Land O’ Lakes community, off Parkway Boulevard.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Danielle Thornton and her two kids received the first mortgage-free home in the community in late December 2022.
Tuimaleali’ifano, who lives life from a wheelchair, received a home outfitted with automatic doors, and wider hallways, allowing him to move more freely. The kitchen features lower counter space, pull-down cabinet shelves and a stove that raises and lowers to wheelchair height. The home’s lights, thermostat and security system can be controlled via an app — enabling him to control many aspects of his daily life independently.
Born in American Samoa, Tuimaleali’ifano moved to Hawaii when he was a child. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school. He served in three combat tours, first to Iraq in 2003 and then to Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007.
In July 2007, just a month before the end of his third deployment, Tuimaleali’ifano was wounded and due to undiagnosed previous combat injuries, he was left paralyzed with no sensation or function from his chest down.
After many difficult years of surgery and rehab, Tuimaleali’ifano found a new passion as an adaptive athlete, participating in the Warrior Games as a player, coach and ambassador from 2014 to 2020. He competed with Team USA in the 2016 and 2018 Invictus, bringing home the gold medal for Wheelchair Rugby.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation Let Us Do Good Village will be a community of nearly 100 homes provided mortgage-free to catastrophically injured veterans and first responders, as well as America’s Gold Star and Fallen First Responder families.
Published May 17, 2023