Wounded Ballwin officer, wife witness groundbreaking on new home

BALLWIN, MO (KPLR) – It’s been a tough eight months, full of constant change and stress, for a former Ballwin police officer and his wife.

Officer Mike Flamion was shot while on duty July 18, 2016 and left paralyzed. Sarah Flamion, Mike’s spouse, has been by his side during the entire time, relocating to Colorado during Mike’s recovery.

On Tuesday, the couple witnessed the groundbreaking of their new, wheelchair-accessible smart home, courtesy of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

It was a day of celebration as the Flamions got to see the renderings of what their new high-tech home will look like.

“This is a great day and the Gary Sinise Foundation has been incredible!” Mike Flamion said. “Seeing the renderings of the house is awesome!”

Shubert Design Furniture partnered with the foundation in designing the home.

“The Sinise Foundation has always supported severely wounded vets, but this is the first time they are building a home for a first responder,” said Judy Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “These are special homes. They are bigger and wider, and provide what the Flamions will need to get everyone in the house.”

The home will allow Mike to do more for himself using a smartphone.

“This home will have complete lighting control. He doesn't have to be in room to turn lights on and off. He can get on his phone. It’s voice activation; ask to turn off lights in his home,” said Scott Schaeperkoetter, the director of operations for the Gary Sinise Foundation’s RISE program.

Sarah, who has carried the load since Mike became paralyzed, will get a much-needed break.

The house will take about 10 months to complete. Flamion also said this was the best day he’s had since being shot.

“It’s good to know the community is behind you,” he said. “And definitely the police department is behind me.”