Nate Berkus, Oprah Winfrey’s celebrity designer, was in Ayer today changing the life of a family that’s been through a lot. Berkus unveiled a customized house for quadruple-amputee Monica Jorge, her husband, Tony, and their two daughters. The ranch has a garage with a ramp to get inside the house, a customized kitchen with a side-opening oven, wide bathrooms and a chairlift to go downstairs to the basement.
In 2007, days after giving birth, Jorge developed a horrific infection that forced doctors to amputate her arms and legs. A Globe magazine story chronicling her recovery caught the attention of Winfrey, who had Monica on her show. Oprah named Monica a “Warrior Mom,’’ gifted her a new SUV and vowed to build her a new home, all expenses paid (translation: no mortgage).
Berkus is no stranger to these parts. He attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnham. The “Nate Berkus Show’’ on Monica’s house will air Sept. 27 on WCVB.
As for Jorge, her Facebook page buzzed with congratulations all day. Her own post summed up her emotions: “I can’t wait anymore!!!!!!! Too exciting!!!!!!!’’