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Veteran Triple Amputee Receives New ‘Smart Home’ In San Diego

Andrew Bottrell's new house on Osceola Avenue in Clairemont, Dec. 12, 2017.

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: Andrew Bottrell's new house on Osceola Avenue in Clairemont, Dec. 12, 2017.

A police-lead motorcade on Tuesday escorted retired U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician Andrew Bottrell down his new street and to his new house in the San Diego neighborhood of Clairemont.

Bottrell received a "smart home" courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation, with friends, family and fellow servicemen on-hand to raise a flag in his honor.

"I can’t really describe how amazing it is to receive a house in words," Bottrell said. "I don’t know what to say to that."

The "smart home" is specially adapted to fit Botrell's needs as a triple amputee.

"Controls the security system, the lights, the window shades," he said. "I lock and unlock doors, I can talk to whoever is at the front door from it."

Photo credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Andrew Bottrell demonstrates his new home's technology using a wall-mounted tablet, Dec. 12, 2017.

In 2011, Bottrell lost both his legs and left arm when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit his vehicle during a tour in Afghanistan. He said the home's adaptive technology will help him.

"For instance, if someone is dropping off a package...I am out of my legs and I can’t get to the door before they want to walk away and leave it," Bottrell said. "I can say, 'Hey hold on, give me a second. I have to put my legs on.'”

The kitchen is customized for wheelchair access with a lowered microwave, customized oven and pull-down shelving. The bathroom has special adaptations for getting in and out of the shower.

Bottrell will not need keys for his new house. All of the home's technology, including locking doors, can be controlled with a tablet.

Bottrell said the best part about his new house is that there is not a mortgage. And he is looking forward to sharing new memories there with his wife and daughter.

Reported by Christopher Maue

The specially adapted home for retired U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician Andrew Bottrell features a kitchen with a lowered microwave, specialized oven and pull-down shelves.


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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