“I might not be a millionaire. I don't have tons of money, nothing like that. But I have my family and I have this awesome, wonderful house.” - Jason W.
As Jason himself will tell you, Jason Welch is the luckiest person in the world. But receiving the keys to his Habitat home in 2019 didn’t come easily. After suffering a traumatic brain aneurysm that left him unable to walk, talk, eat, or function independently, Jason was given less than a one percent chance of living through his accident.
“I had an argument with my wife and rather than fight in front of the kids, I headed towards the garage so I could go outside and cool off. That’s the last memory I have. The next thing I know, it's almost a year later.
Caused by high blood pressure, Jason’s parents assumed full responsibility of caring for him while he recovered. Little at a time, Jason re-learned to talk, walk, bike, and independently care for himself. Jason credits his new lease on life to God, thankful not only for his revitalization but also his perspective shift.
“I’m so blessed and happy that God gave me a second chance. Before, I used to blow people off and always roll my eyes at the saying ‘when bad things happen you find out who really cares about you’, but now I get it. It’s the honest truth.”
In attempts to live independently, Jason rented a small apartment unit in Kuna, Idaho. Unfortunately, Jason’s recovery was impeded by high costs for his rental payments.
“I was barely scraping by. I was pulling together everything I had just to make the rental payments, not counting all my other expenses.”
After hearing about Habitat for Humanity by his mother, Jason inquired at an open house event. At first, Jason turned back on the open house assuming automatically he wasn’t qualified or deserving of Habitat’s services. Thanks to his mother, Jason turned back around.
“My mom told me to turn around and get in there. Thank goodness I did as it wound up to be such a great thing.”
Now, his children could have stability in school and maintain their group of friends without fear of moving to a fourth school in a long line of moving places. The dangers of student mobility, such as the potential for lower school engagement, poorer grades in reading (particularly in math), and a higher risk of dropping out of high school threatened to plague his family. Now, along with affordable mortgage payments, Jason could safely raise his family and reap the benefits of his newfound permanence.
Prior to his injury, Jason served as a U.S. Army Supply Specialist, serving his country for a tour in Saudi Arabia. Jason credits his decision to serve to his dad also being a U.S. Army Veteran, as well as his number one hero in life.
Jason is nothing if not a stark advocate for Habitat and the impact it’s made on his life. When asked to describe what being a Habitat homeowner has meant to him, he was nearly at a loss for words.
“This has been everything and more. I love you guys and the work you’ve done for me, and others like me. Every day I wake up and thank God for this house and this life.”