March 23, 2008 07:45 PM by DA Southern
In this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty and the gang head to Alabama to deliver a safe and comfortable home to the loving Gaudet family who, with their six sons, have given so much to their community and are dealing with their own struggles with a down’s syndrome son, Peter. Mom, Lydia, works at the Easter Seals and teaches free parenting classes, with an emphasis on parenting special needs children and also heads a literacy program to teach adults to read, and the entire family works with a camp for disabled youth and adults.
The Gaudets have always put others first even while neglecting their own home that was battered by Hurricane Katrina and a small home fire. With eight inhabitants, the Gaudet home is showing signs of serious distress with a leaky roof, a crumbling kitchen and a disastrous bathroom.
Ty and the gang of designers Michael Moloney, Didiayer, Ed Sanders and John Littlefield head to the Gaudet home as part of the fifty-state Extreme renovation crusade as the bus pulled into Mobile, Alabama for the build.
Day 1 started as usual with Ty yelling at the family with his super-duper megaphone around 8:42 AM. The family rushed out to meet Ty and was immediately pummeled as Ty told them how excited he was to be involved in the project and that the family would be going to Disney Land and the Super Bowl, which you knew excited the boys of the family. Ty went inside the home with parents, Stephen and Lydia, to see the decrepit surroundings that the family shared while the boys were conversing with the designers outside.
It looked as though the themes for the rooms were going to be, cooking, nerd stuff, musical sounds, football and other general family surroundings. Ty’s secret project will be the special-needs child, Peter, as he attempts to brighten the precious child’s surroundings.
For the demo, Ty, of course, videoed it for the family but with a different twist as local builder Heritage Homes and the hundreds of volunteers and workers watched as well. Ty had the University of South Alabama football team use the home for tackle practice and everyone watched in amusement as the football team systematically demolished the home with very little effort and a well placed crane did the rest.
We quickly zoomed to Day 3 as designer Michael Moloney was giving us a quick tour of the layout of the partially completed home. Poor designer John Littlefield was doing designs for four of the six boys with a cooking theme and an electronics theme and Didiayer was seen doing some work on one of the boy’s room that will incorporate a sound effects studio into the room.
Ty was off doing something for his secret project, Peter’s room, and was talking about the special needs that will have to be incorporated into the build with several of the teachers who deal with Peter in his school. Ty was told that Peter would need a lot of opportunity to be physical but not hurt himself.
Day 3 quickly slipped into Day 4 as the time-lapse photography showed the home being built before our eyes over night. Michael’s Master Bedroom and Ed’s huge couch design to accommodate the six boys was explained as the house seemed to be filled with many of the final details you see on Day 6. Michael and John had time to head to Camp Smile for some inspiration that would be placed into the Gaudet family home. At the camp, Michael and John had the campers do some individual painting that would hang in the new home’s main hall that would always remind the family of the camp’s mission.
Day 5 had Didiayer showing us some of the details of the home and the huge kitchen that was probably bigger than the family’s former home. Ty called the family at Disney and told the family that the family was staying in the Disney Dream Suite designed exclusively by Walt Disney and we finally had a glimpse of Ty’s special room as he carried a couple of big balloons. Not very Ty-larious, if you ask me.
The family arrived as Ty announced the house was completed and came out to greet the throng assembled to greet the family. Ty quickly told the family about all of the hard work of the community and then asked them if they were ready to see the house. Ty and the family gave the “Move that bus” designation and the family realized they finally had a home that truly met their needs and, especially of the needs of Peter. Dad, Stephen, even said he didn’t realized how much of a burden the old home really was until he viewed the new one as Ty introduced the builders to the family.
Ty sent the family into the home and they were blown away at the sheer size of the home’s main area. Ty quickly entered and pointed out the main room details and especially the artwork from the kids from Camp Smile that was prominently displayed in the main living area.
The two older boys went into their new electronics-media room and were amazed that there were six TV’s on the wall. Can you say, “Media overload” anyone? Self-proclaimed nerd, Michael, was next into his sound-effects inspired room and was truly delighted to see the electronics that Didiayer had supplied him with for his abode and the cooking boys were glad to have a cooking-inspired room of their own.
Peter was quickly into his very bright and colorful room that Ty had designed and his mother was thrilled that there was so much color and activities for the special-needs child to become engrossed in even calling it, “Therapeutic.” The room must have been a hit with Peter because when Ty asked if he wanted to go with him and his mom to check out the rest of the house, he decided that he wanted to stay in his room. Good job, Ty, even if there wasn’t a Ty-larious moment to be had.
Ty took Stephen and Lydia to see the Master Bedroom and, in what had to be the first time in years, the couple was amazed to have a private room to call their own. Lydia even commented that it was filled with peace and tranquility, especially with a private bathroom for her and Stephen.
Ty took the family to the final room of the show, the media room with the custom-made couch that fit the entire Gaudet clan. Ty then announced that the designers had something cooking in the kitchen and lead the family to the kitchen to see the designers where Ty announced that CVS Pharmacy was donating $100,000.00 to Camp Smile to keep it operational for years to come and an additional $51,000.00 for the family’s medical bills from Peter. This is when Extreme goes above and beyond by ensuring that a worthwhile organization, such as Camp Smile, benefits in the process of providing for a needy family like the Gaudets.
Ty gave the final “Welcome home, Gaudet family, welcome home” as we panned away from the new homestead and the previews for next week’s excursion to Delaware where the Extreme team helps a single mom quickly flashed before us.
Photo Courtesy of ABC