Some folks seem to think blind people can barely perform the most mundane tasks without needing assistance, but Thomas Graham, a blind man with a vision, is proving them all wrong by building his dream house.
Thomas Graham, from Bullard, Texas, was blinded by a shotgun blast to the face when he was only 18 years old. He was in a dark place for a long time after that, until a neighbor gave him an old cane and with it the hope that he could still live a happy life and fulfill his dreams. He attended a rehabilitation institute in Austin, and took a class called Industrial Art, where a blind teacher taught him everything he needed to know about building things. ”I noticed when I shook hands with him that he had all of his fingers so I figured it was okay to learn from him,” Graham remembers about his teacher. He had always had a hand for construction, but he didn’t have the eyes to go with it anymore, so he had to learn how to use all the usual construction tools without hurting himself. This April, after being laid off from his job at the East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, Thomas finally decided to fulfill his lifelong dream of building his own home, and in just a month and a half he finished the entire wooden skeleton of the house.
You’d never know Thomas Graham is blind if you saw him working on his big project. He only uses touch to feel where his equipment and materials are, but that’s apparently all he needs. Although he sometimes gets help from his son and wife, the ambitious Texan does most of the work himself. That includes measuring and cutting the blocks of wood, nailing them together and even pouring concrete. He’s quite the sight to see, and word of his big plan spread all throughout the southern state. Thomas’ wife, Evelyn, says they planned to move into the new house by Christmas, since they were going to work on it as fast as their savings allowed, but now, with help from local realtors and churches impressed with her husband’s vision they could be moved in by the end of September.
He admits he sometimes throws stuff around in frustration, but he just hopes his wife and son aren’t standing in the way. ”Even if you have some kind of setback you just keep moving forward,’ Thomas Graham says. ”Cuz life’s not over.”
You can watch a video of Thomas at work, here.