On November 19, 2010, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Mark Litynski’s life was forever changed. After volunteering to be the point man on a foot patrol, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), resulting in a bilateral above-knee amputation and amputation of his left forearm.
Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise learned about Litynski’s tribulation, and decided that Mark and his wife, Heather, would be the recipients of a specially adapted customized smart home, through the Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program.
With design modifications and expert technologies provided by manufacturers like Core Brands, the home was successfully completed this summer, making the triple-amputee’s daily life much simpler.
“I saw a video that Huffington Post produced, ‘Hidden Wounds,’ that featured Mark and Heather sharing their story,” Sinise explained. “It was my first strong awareness of what they were going through, and I knew that I wanted to look into building them a smart home.”
Constructed with Litynski’s mobility at the epicenter of the design, the home is equipped with extra-wide hallways, pull-down cabinets, and an ELAN Entertainment and Control System.
“The ultimate goal of this project was to provide Mark with a home in which he could move freely and live more independently,” said Judith Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Facilitating the communication between all of the home’s electronics, the ELAN system allows Litynski to operate everything from a mobile app on his smartphone or iPad. If his devices aren’t accessible, Litynski can operate the home through an ELAN gHR200 remote or one of the four ELAN gTP7 in-wall touch screens installed throughout the home. All of the platforms were created with the end user in mind, so Litynski can operate each system seamlessly on devices that he and his family use daily.
“This home will allow me to be more independent,” Litynski said. “It probably sounds so simple to someone else, but I can’t describe the feeling of being able to do something yourself that you once couldn’t. The simplest task can be enjoyable and you want to do it again and again, just because you can. I feel I have been blessed a thousand times over and beyond of what is enough.”
Honoring veterans like Litysnki, the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program was established to provide wounded heroes and their families with the necessary resources to overcome daily life challenges.
“A big part of what we do at the Gary Sinise Foundation is raising awareness for the issues that our servicemen and women face and engaging the community to support their hometown hero,” Otter said. “We were thrilled that this happened on this project and that many national partners such as Core Brands provided key technology to help us complete this project and provide Mark with as much independence as possible."