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Extreme Makeover Home Edition: Simpson Family and Paula Deen in Savannah

January 16, 2011 07:01 PM by Candace Young


Tonight’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition home makeover is going to the Simpson family of Savannah Georgia.  Jim and Carmen Simpson and their children are living in a home in need of many repairs, while coping with a child with medical challenges. They are sitting in Paula Deen’s restaurant at a volunteer dinner when Ty Pennington and the design team surprises them…

Jim and Carmen Simpson, have three children; eight year-old Isaac and four year-old Katelyn, and two year-old Zo’ who was a medical miracle baby. He was born prematurely with a deadly condition and not expected to survive more than 24 hours. Zo’ also had detached retinas which guaranteed blindness – doctors declared that he would never be able to breathe, see, or walk on his own.  Zo’ proved them wrong, however, when his eyes healed and his lungs began to function on their own. Today, he still face challenges and is developmentally delayed, but is growing and doing well.

The family was at a meal in Paula Deen’s restaurant to honor area volunteers,  when the design team was brought out from the kitchen by Paul herself! The Simpsons learned that they would be the recipients of a home makeover, and also that they would be going on a Disney cruise while the build takes place.


The Extreme Makeover Home Edition team travels to the current Simpson home for a look. Ty observes that there are many more problems than they even realize. Paul hangs out with Katelyn who wants to be a princess, while Tracy checks out Isaac’s skateboard. Ed talks to Carmen about Zo’s needs.

The Simpson’s who are avid volunteers give Ty a wish list of things they would like to do to help other people in their community. Jim explains that he never feels sorry for himself and says there are people hurting worse than them. Ty tells him he’s alright.  The Simpsons meet the builders from JT Turner Construction and get a surprise in a crate – a brand new Ford Explorer!

The excavators are brought in to tear down the old house. Ty and Tracey drive around to get a feel for the architectural styles in the area, so that the new house will fit in. Ed and Paul go check out a paddle steamer boat to develop an idea for Zo’s therapy room.

Shaun White, Olympic gold-medal snowboarder, and his brother Jesse show up at the build site to help with Isaac’s room.  A princess tower begins to take shape for Katelyn’s room.


Paul gathers some of the community together while they tackle some of the things on the Simpsons’ wish list. They contact the family on their cruise. The watch in amazement as their friend Brian gets a ring so that he can propose – he does, and his girlfriend Amber accepts. They also did a coat drive and Paula Deem is there with 25,000 pounds of ham for people in need. The Simpson family is thrilled.

Soon, Ty has the keys, the furniture is moved in, and the family returns home. The crowd does their thing, chanting, “Move that bus!”  Jim and Carmen are stunned by the sight of the new home. The JT Turner Builders announce that the community raised funds and paid off their mortgage. Crying and hugs ensue. Isaac is floored to meet Shaun White and receive a signed skateboard from him.


The family heads inside where they marvel over the living space and kitchen that Paula Deen helped design. Isaac is stunned by his skateboard-themed room complete with 3D video chair.  Carmen takes Zo’ to see his bold and colorful new room which will visually stimulate him. Katelyn gushes over her princess room complete with princess tower and Cinderella carriage bed! Rather than see the rest of the house, the little girl settles in to do her hair.

Jim and Carmen get to see their new master bedroom and bath next. Last, the family is taken to the therapy room for Zo’, which will make life so much easier for them having it onsite.  Paul tells them that CVS Pharmacy has also put together a $25,000 medical fund to assist them with Zo’s care.  To top it all off, Paula Deen has made a home-cooked meal for their first night in the new house.  They thank Paula, and Ty welcomes the Simpson family home.

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Photos Courtesy: WSAV

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

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