Meet the Teeters: Home & disabilities fight against each other - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Meet the Teeters: Home & disabilities fight against each other

Zak gets a lift from his dad, Chris Zak gets a lift from his dad, Chris
Callie, upset after having her sinuses suctioned Callie, upset after having her sinuses suctioned
Zak using his gate trainer in the living room, the only room he can use it in Zak using his gate trainer in the living room, the only room he can use it in

by Cami Mountain

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Zak and Callie Teeters will need a lifetime of care.  As they get older, caring for them will undoubtedly get harder, especially in a home not designed to help.

Most people don't think twice as they walk up the steps to Chris and Annie Teeters front door. But the parents think about it every day when they carry their kids.

Zak and his baby sister Callie have a rare chromosome disorder known as Unbalanced Translocation.  Because of it, they have severe physical and mental disabilities.

When Zak's not in his wheelchair or using a walker he requires a lift.  Fourteen month old Callie, weighing in just a little over a dozen pounds, is easy to tote around.

Zak, at five years, weighs 32 pounds and is much harder to carry.

"32 pounds isn't heavy when the child is helping hold on."  Annie, Zak's mom says, "When you pick up a 32 pound child that doesn't help hold on and you have to be extremely alert because at any time he'll bend over or throw himself back and you're always leaning forward to catch him. So, 32 pounds gets heavy quickly."

The outside steps aren't the only ones the Teeters deal with.

"We have a raised level ranch so we have nothing but stairs in the house. So, it's very difficult to get Zak out of the car and upstairs into our main living area or downstairs, vice versa. So, we're always fighting stairs."  Chris adds.

 It seems like the Teeters and their home fight against each other.  It's a home designed for a family with no disabilities.  The hallways and door frames are narrow, the flooring switches from carpet to smooth surfaces.

"It really restricts Zak from his abilities."  Annie says, "Now, he's getting into using the gate trainer more, the walker that he has. On carpet, he can't move it very well. So, then it's hard tog et him to move and when he does move he can basically only use it in the living room because it doesn't fit through a door."

 Zak and Callie's condition also lowers their immunity.  Their 40 year old home quickly fills with dust and moisture and causes sinus infections.  Multiple times a day, Callie has to have her's suctioned.  It's a process she's not a fan of.

Fixing their home is a thought in their minds, an incredibly expensive one.  They've even thought of turning to ABC's Extreme Home Makeover.

Just to install an air purification system, the Teeters would have to gut the entire home.  The kids most likely couldn't handle the dust and germs that come from remodels.

As the kids get older and keep growing, the Teeters know their needs will grow too.

 They only hope they can find a way to fit into a home made for them.

"Zak and Callie are going to need a lifetime of care and in some way someone will have to take care of them."  Chris says, "I hope we're around to take care of them for a long time. We'd love to be able to have a house we can do that in and that we could meet all of their needs at our house."

Online Reporter:  Cami Mountain

Powered by Frankly