BUENA PARK : Quadriplegic Awaits Home Overhaul OK

Darleen Dano has not seen her home of 27 years since a car accident in January broke her spine and permanently disabled her.

She and her family are claiming that her homeowners association is stalling the approval of structural changes that would allow her to move back into her townhouse.

Seven months of operations, counseling and rehabilitation have prepared her for life as a quadriplegic. Her release from St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton is scheduled for Aug. 18.

Dano will be forced to stay at the hospital or a nursing home, however, if she is not able to modify her two-story home in Highland Greens, a 375-house development off Beach Boulevard at Cameron Drive.


A relative brought informal drawings of the proposed changes to the July 13 meeting of the homeowners association, and was told the family would receive a response in three days, Dano said.

But time has passed, and no one from the association’s office has returned numerous calls on Dano’s behalf, according to Dano and her case worker, Nancy Ekberg.

“We have been instructed by corporate counsel to say, ‘No comment,’ ” said Mark Winsberg, property manager for Highland Greens Homeowners Assn.

Janet Powers, the attorney with Fiore, Nordberg Walker & Racobs who is representing the association, sent the same message through her secretary.


The predicament is wearing, said Dano, a 59-year-old grandmother.

“It’s very stressful in my situation because I’m having enough problems dealing with my conditions without having to worry about this,” she said.

Ekberg, a case worker with Resource Opportunities in Costa Mesa, said timing is crucial because the contractors need at least two weeks to make modifications.

“Otherwise, this lady’s going to a nursing home,” Ekberg added.


The association apparently sent a registered letter to Dano at her home, but nobody has been home to receive it.

Dano’s former son-in-law, Brian Bridgford , said a board member called him and read him the letter. The association apparently wants to see professional drawings and samples in place of the informal plans Bridgford had presented.