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Extreme Makeover Home Edition: Girard Family Medieval Miracle!

February 08, 2009 07:04 PM by Candace Young

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Outside a church in Connecticut a large group of people stand holding a candlelight vigil to remember Thomas Girard. This week, Ty Pennington and the ABC Extreme Makeover Home Edition design team are headed to Voluntown, Connecticut to help the Girard family who lost their home to the ravages of an electrical fire and the resulting water damage. Not long afterward, Tom took the kids swimming, and both Tom and his son Mark, who tried to rescue his father, drowned. Carol Girard and her remaining children have been living with relatives, but need a place to call home. The design team agrees – it’s going to be a tough week!

Upon their arrival, Ty Pennington uses his bullhorn to call the Girard family outside. Members of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition team dissolve into tears as the children describe how much they miss their brother and their dad. Ty Pennington tells them how sorry he is for their loss, then announces that they’re going to Disney World!

Carol takes Ty Pennington to see the remains of the house that was destroyed by fire. Ty wipes away tears as she describes what she misses the most about her husband and her son. Carol is grateful for the hug he gives her. Rib Hillis talks to the eldest son, who is into model trains, and Paige talks to Hannah, the youngest daughter, who likes princesses and snowflakes – because snowflake is what her father called her. Paige promises to look after her this week – she was on her father’s shoulders in the water when he drowned. Ed talks to the younger son, who cries as he says he misses his older brother.

When the volunteers and builders arrive on site, Ty Pennington talks to the head builder, Bruno, and gets the Girard family on video, telling them that Extreme Makeover Home Edition is going to do a medieval demolition on their house. Tom was all about knights and chivalry, so Ty has a band of appropriately costumed men attack the house with crude weapons before the excavator moves in and ‘storms the castle’!

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Ty Pennington and the Extreme Makeover Home Edition team are challenged by the arrival of Connecticut’s first snowfall on the Girard family project, but Ty says they will persevere! Michael and Ed are beginning work on the children’s rooms, while Ty takes a walk with some firefighters to see the site where Tom and Mark Girard drowned. Ty says he thinks it’s important to understand what the family has gone through – he mentions the rocks. The firefighters say it was a team effort that day, but Mark was truly a hero in trying to save his father. They tell Ty that they have made Mark an honorary firefighter, posthumously, and have something for him at the firehouse.

Construction of the new house is well underway by Day 4, and Michael explains that the home will have turrets, as the Girard family is fond of everything medieval! Ty gathers a group of community members, Extreme Makeover Home Edition design team members, and firefighters, and contacts the Girard family in Disney World. Ty tells the family that Voluntown community has raised $20,000 for them! The chief firefighter then announces that they have made Mark a special plaque, and have made him an honorary firefighter. The family is astonished, and Carol cries, “I really miss him!”

Ed explains that Extreme Makeover Home Edition will be installing solar panels in the new house to save the Girard family some money. Michael has ordered all of the new appliances from Sears online. Later, Ed and Michael dress as knights in armor and try to sneak in to see Ty’s secret project. They are foiled, however, and Ty has them thrown out! Everything begins to come together in the new house as painting and tiling ensue.

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Soon, the house is finished and Ty Pennington invites the volunteers to help bring in the new furniture. Paige says she hope that the Girard family will be able to enjoy good times again in their new home.

Under cover of umbrellas and raincoats, the cheering crowd welcomes the Girard family back from their trip to Disney World. Ty Pennington tells them there is no way to replace what’s missing for them, but the whole town worked together on what is behind the bus. The bus moves as the crowd chants, and the family cries and hugs crazily as they get the first look at their new home! Bruno Hayn, the builder, embraces Carol.

The Girard family goes inside to see the interior of their new Extreme Makeover Home Edition ‘castle’. They are overwhelmed by the medieval flavor of the dÃcor, and most especially by Mark’s placque, which is prominently displayed. Ty comes in and guides them into the kitchen to see their new appliances from Sears, before encouraging them to go check out the rest of the house!

Hannah is in love with her princess room, and her snowflake bed. Carol says she can imagine her daughter going to school now and being happy. The next oldest child is thrilled with his medieval room, and the eldest son is stunned by his model railroad-themed bedroom. The oldest daughter also loves her room, which features her camera and many photographs – her dad liked scrapbooking, so it reminds her of him! Carol then gets to see her room, which is open and features huge framed portraits of her husband and her son, Mark. She says this room will enable her to grow. ABC’s Ty Pennington tells Carol that their friends at CVS Pharmacy have donated $100,000 toward the kids going to college. Carol is so grateful.

Back outside in the rain, Carol and the Girard children once again greet the waiting volunteers and builders to thank them. Extreme Makeover Home Edition’s Ty Pennington notes that there is only one thing left to say, “Welcome home, Girard family, welcome home!”

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Photos Courtesy: Norwich Bulletin, Tim Martin & Dana Jensen/The Day

Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Reality TV Listings |

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