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Bismarck company expands to help make homes more accessible

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 3:31 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - One Bismarck construction company is expanding its business to focus on personalizing homes for those who need special accessibility.

In 2018, Brad Furman was working construction in South Dakota, putting in a mainline sewer, 16 feet underground.

In a matter of seconds, Brad was buried alive. Both of his legs wrapped around the pipe, which snapped a vertebrae in his back.

From that day on, Brad and his wife, Tara, have had to adjust the way they live every day.

“It paralyzed me. I’m paralyzed for life from then on,” said Brad Furman, a GoUniversal customer.

After the accident, Brad and Tara relocated to Bismarck, where they built a home that is accessible for Brad’s wheelchair.

“I do, like, 13 transfers before I actually can come out of my room to go on with my day,” said Brad.

At the same time, Sparling Construction was making its 12-year dream of launching a home-accessibility business.

“I wanted to take my passion of building and remodeling, and tying it into the health care industry. Helping people not just live better at the same address, or even at a new address, but living longer and safer,” said Todd Freitag, owner of GoUniversal.

GoUniversal has added threshold ramps and a lift to the Furman home.

“I almost feel like I’m not even injured when I’m at home. It’s made me such a homebody,” said Brad.

Freitag says the launch of GoUniversal has shown him the impact small changes can have on a family.

“GoUniversal has a special place in my heart, giving people hope and helping them when they don’t know what options they have,” said Freitag.

Along with homes, the company is aiming to make improvements throughout the community.

“There are a ton of things that businesses don’t do intentionally. They’re just not aware,” said Scott Bernstein, Networking Officer for GoUniversal.

Freitag hopes their unique business will continue to expand in the future.

“We’re building the infrastructure for something that will be much larger, because Fargo, Dickinson, and Minot can all need us,” said Freitag.

They say they see a need to help families like the Furmans continue to do the things they love, despite set-backs.

For more information, visit https://www.gouniversal.org or call (701) 222-0783.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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