There is No Place like Home

Posted by Tyra Randle in Life After Paralysis on July 26, 2022 # Courage

Tyra and familyHave you ever wondered what it is like to work at a place that cares about its employees? Have you ever wondered if you had to go to your CEO with a problem that they would address it? Well, welcome to my place of employment, North Kansas City Hospital. In January 2018, I was hired as an able body CNA at North Kansas City Hospital. To be honest, I never really noticed things in the hospital that needed to be bigger or wider for someone that was disabled. I would go to work, take care of my patients, sometimes take a quick 30-minute nap on my lunch break and then go home. Not knowing the struggles that our disabled visitors faced. Fast forward to January 15, 2020, I was stalked and shot 8 times in my home by my ex. One of those bullets left me paralyzed as a T-11 T-12 incomplete paraplegic.

Now let’s jump forward 6 months after my injury and my return to work as a now paraplegic. I went from being a CNA to a Float Unit Secretary. Meaning I didn’t have a home, and the whole hospital was now my home. Now that I’m in a wheelchair, I notice how the hospital did not have any realistic ADA accommodations. Well, not at least in the year 2020. So, one day I decided to go to the restroom on my lunch break. The restroom was directly across from the cafeteria. Yes, you read that right across from the cafeteria. To my surprise, it was not wheelchair accessible. The stalls were so small that Woody and Buzz Lightyear could have used them as their restroom. I noticed that wasn’t the only restroom with that problem.

Instead of complaining, I took it upon myself to email the CEO of the hospital. Ever since I’ve been back to work, the hospital and all its staff have been very accommodating to my needs. To my surprise, the CEO emailed me back on Sunday at 12:18 AM. “I feel as a hospital; we should strive to please and accommodate disabled and able bodies. The bare minimum or state requirement should not be North Kansas City Hospital’s goal but to exceed the expectations and show everyone that NKCH strives in satisfaction to and for our community.” Not only did the CEO email me back, but he also put me in contact with the Vice President and the head of the Construction Maintenance Team.

Throughout the process, they kept me updated on what was going on and what changes would work best for a wheelchair user. The year is now 2022, and the hospital is improving one restroom at a time.

Being that voice for others and advocating for a whole community of people just fills my heart with joy and makes me feel like I have a purpose. Standing up for myself and not just accepting the bare minimum has opened the eyes of people who were blind to the lack of accessibility for a disabled person. This hospital has become so much more than just a place of employment but more like a home; honestly, there is no place like home.

My name is Tyra Randle, and I'm a domestic violence survivor. On January 15 of 2020, I was shot 8 times in my home by my son's father and was left paralyzed. Since then, I have devoted my life to being an advocate for domestic violence survivors as well as the disabled community. Now, as an experienced and esteemed public speaker, Diamond in the Rough aims to deliver education, inspiration and hope to a variety of audiences.

TikTok: @tyinthecity

Facebook: Tyra Randle or Diamond In The Rough

Instagram: @diamond_inthe_roughKC

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.